No way out


Windows is a really obnoxious piece of software. Lately, the situation has gotten worse, with more and more software updates being forced upon users. Perhaps you’ve seen this on your own computer. The system suddenly says “Your updates have been installed”, and then shows a dialog box where the only option is “Reboot now”. A threatening countdown timer reminds you that you have no choice in the matter. In my most recent experience, the update also broke all Internet access, without any explanation or even an error message.

I won’t even get into all the problems here, since they’re quite obvious. But to sum it up, treating your users like morons and taking away their free will is a good way to ruin their experience with your product. People usually don’t need hundreds of options and preferences to fiddle with, but reducing their role to that of a passive observer is clearly taking it too far.