I've been trying to get a Prius started for over 15 minutes. As I bake in the Hertz parking lot in LA, I am trying every possible sequence of brake, ignition something I've never seen on a car: an on switch. Damn car won't budge. When did the turn-the-key-to-start approach go away?
A similar degree of frustration occurred when hunting for the print command in the latest MS Word. The venerable Dr. Joel Orr couldn't find it either, I learn at the COFES session entitled "the Future of the Interface." At least I'm not a total dummy.
After a round of comments, it appears the packed attendees are divided on this issue. On one side, veteran users of software think their software is easy enough to use. One power user seems to be on the verge of saying that if you can't use [MCAD software, name withheld], perhaps you have no business trying. This provokes another user to say, "When I hear someone defending their hard-to-use software, I just want to punch them in the mouth." OMG. Did I hear that correctly!
Example: SolidWorks had changed its interface considerably in version 2008. Its detractors called its use of the ribbon bar a blind allegiance to Microsoft. SolidWorks countered by citing user studies from its [very hardworking and well meaning] usability team. Much virtual ink was spilled on this but, in the end, there was no choice. SolidWorks had burned the bridges. No "classic" menu option was offered. Move forward, SolidWorks was saying to its users. Like parents forcing vegetables down the throats of babies. We know what's good for you.
Eventually, it seems that even the most vocal critics tire and become silent. Bluster from isolated pockets of resistance is no match for the collective might of software vendors who keep rolling forward, changing this and that, often under the flag of ease-of-use. I want to yell "but I already knew how to use it! It was easy to use" But lately I've noticed no one else is complaining. Already too many users who I thought were on my side have sympathetically offered "I didn't like the ribbon bar at first, either, but you know after a while, it's really not so bad."