Lately with every version of Office Microsoft seems to be making it more and more difficult to perform tasks that were previously simple.

Take for example the simple editing of an email address.  Say you have a typo in the e-mail address that you want to fix:

Your instinct is to click at the cursor position where you want to fix the address:


and you expect an I bar to appear to allow you to edit the address.  That doesn’t work – you notice that the cursor is an arrow, so you think OK maybe it works like other Office Apps: Excel, Word – maybe I have to tell it I want to “Edit” the cell.  There’s a keyboard shortcut of F2 for that in other Office apps so you try that and nothing happens.

Then you realize you can double-click the field.


So you try to click on the e-mail address here, but realize that just opens a new e-mail.  But that is NOT what you want to do.  By now you’re getting pretty frustrated.  You just want to edit the damn e-mail field and type ONE extra character to fix your typo.

So now you resort to Google and start searching the Internet.  Eventually you find the solution:


Click the little drop down menu on the right side of the dialog, choose Outlook Properties.



A screen appears that allows you to edit the darn e-mail address.  But unlike previous Outlook versions, after editing the e-mail address it doesn’t automatically also update the display name, so now you have to make your correction in two places – on both the E-mail address line AND on the Display name line.

In Outlook 2013 this is made even worse. 

I don’t understand what happened to Microsoft’s usability labs.  They used to pride themselves on having real end users spend hours using the software and incorporating that feedback into products.  In recent years though product usability seems to have taken a back seat to other objectives, some of which are helpful, but some of which make previously simple tasks ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE more difficult and LESS DISCOVERABLE than ever before.

What used to be 1 click, type a character is now:

1. Double click e-mail address.

2. Click on Drop down.

3. Click on E-Mail Properties

4. Click in E-Mail address field and make correction.

5. Click in Display name field and make correction.

6. Click OK

Why do simple things have to be so much harder to do?