Archive for March 1, 2015

Software Sins

Okay software developers and companies, it’s time we have a talk about our relationship. For years now you have been abusing your users and just in case you aren’t aware of it, I will detail what you have done. If you’re smart, then you’ll take note and learn something. If not, well there are always more fish in the sea.

Assuming your user is stupid

Helpful UIs, tooltips, detailed documentations are hallmarks of well constructed and respected software. Dumbing down options, removing or automating advanced features, and wasting our time with flashy eye candy is assuming your user is a child. I am not a child, stop it.

Stealing Focus

I guarantee you, whatever I’m doing is more important than what you are doing, at all times. By several orders of magnitude. Do not steal my focus, don’t flip to the front, don’t you dare interrupt what I am doing. Sit there silently until I need you, and stay out of my way. Have something important to tell me? pop a notification, once. Otherwise, shut up.

Being “Helpful”

Or the “clippy”. This ties in with assuming users are stupid. Do not auto-complete me, you insult my language. Do not select more text then I am explicitly selecting. Do not do tasks that you think is associated to what I am actually doing. In fact, do not do anything, not a single thing I don’t tell you specifically to do. You are a tool for my use, nothing more.

Wasting resources

When i’m not using you, don’t do anything. No, you may not use my internet connection, thrash my hard drive with pointless reads and writes, or leave unnecessary open threads going. I paid for my processor, memory, and storage, you use them at my pleasure. Heaven help you if you have a useless daemon running. You have no right to do anything unless I tell you.

Bloaty and Buggy

Sure, new features drive sales, but buggy bloatware drives users spare. No, we don’t need a newer faster machine. We need you to stop adding useless crap, fix outstanding bugs, and optimize your code so it runs smoothly, properly, and quickly. Make your software the best by making it work.

Subscription models

Want to make us pay every month for your crapware? Why would I ever rely on a tool I have to pay for every month? I want to install the software, use it, and forget about it when i’m not and have it right handy for when I need it. No you may not deny me the right to use what i’ve already paid for, nor extort money from me every month for nothing. I buy you, I own you and fuck your EULA and profit margins.

Update pressure

Newer is not usually better. Updates break things, and introduce new bugs from your useless new features. Don’t force me to update, you will just force me onto your kinder competitor. I do not care how many new features you are offering, I only care that it does what i bought it for and does it properly.

Conclusions

Treat your user base with respect. Though many may be novices there are an equal amount of pros who want to seriously burn down your house for treating us like dirt. Make your software right, the first time, stay out of the way of us doing real work, and don’t piss us off. We are your bottom line, never forget it.