Broken promises


We’ve all been there: You’re typing a bunch of text into a website or application program and you’re just about ready to press Save. At that very moment, the computer crashes or you accidentally hit the secret key combination for “quit now without asking”. Sometimes, the program is smart enough to recover where you left off, which is great. Other times, all your work is lost forever. With these cases in mind, what really makes me crazy is when a program says it’s automatically saving drafts as you type — but then it gives you no way to retrieve the files later.

I know that it’s very difficult for some programs to provide autosave functionality, and that’s fine. All I’m asking is that when a program says it’s saving your work, it should actually be doing that — while providing you with an easy way to retrieve the files later. Otherwise, it gives users a false sense of security and creates hostility when people learn they’ve been lied to. In short, if your autosave or recovery feature doesn’t work exactly as advertised, you’re better off just taking it out entirely.