If it ain’t broke…

Sometimes, you need to reinvent something. I’ve done it several times in my career and have successful.  However sometimes, you just gotta leave it alone.  Microsoft just released a new product called Sway. (I’ll review it later maybe). Anyway, they felt the need to reinvent this.


Bold is no longer B. It’s E. E for emphasize! Why is that better? Who do they think they are? Did someone do some insane test and conclude that A = Accent?  It’s I for Italics! WTF!

God, it makes me so mad! I just want to punch the screen and say, “It’s BOLD MOTHERF****ERS! BOLD!!!


Ok, ok, calm down. It’s just a button.  Just a button that everyone sees every time they edit text. Nothing to get riled up about.


Are there little things people have redesigned to be worse that freak you out?  Am I the only one?

3 replies on “If it ain’t broke…”

This is the answer I got when I asked:

Because emphasized text does not always end up bold. And you can emphasize pictures, groups, etc where bold makes no sense. BTW we did map Ctrl-B to Emphasize and Ctrl-I to Accent for convenience. At the moment we haven’t fully built out all the styling variation so it may seem too abstract, but this is well thought through. Also there is no point trying to be consistent with Word styles – the concepts are different enough and hardly any of our target users know about Word styles anyway. For background, read this: https://blogs.office.com/2014/12/10/sway-philosophy/

That is a semi-resonable explanation. However, it still is terrible. 🙂

Are you working on Sway? I thought Dynamics.

The product is strange. It’s hard to tell who it’s for and why you would use it instead of other MS Office products (online versions). Plus all of the panels coming in and out of the page makes it really hard to tell where things are.

I tend to agree with you for the most part. I think the best solution would be a dynamic toolbar that changes depending on the content. If it’s just text then show bold and italic items, if it’s a picture then show emphasis or whatever you’re working with.

I’m not working on Sway, I hadn’t even heard of it until you posted about it. 🙂

I think Sway is a product of the kind of startuppy culture they’re trying to develop to encourage people to try new things. But as a company overall Microsoft struggles with consistency across platforms. That happens because you have hundreds of offices around the world and thousands of people doing their own thing, sometimes products internally even compete with each other in the real world.

Hopefully that’s something that gets better but I find it’s a common problem with gigantic companies with hundreds of products.

Whatya think?