14 Surefire Ways to Annoy Users
So you're designing a new product and you want to make sure you infuriate as many customers as possible. Be sure to do at least a few of the following things:
- Force us to reboot our systems any time we install or uninstall your product.
- Automatically install into the Windows system tray and launch at startup.
- Force us to read the manual just to figure out how to turn on the damned thing.
- Pop up little reminders for things we don't want to do.
- Make tech-support contact information nearly impossible to find--or, better yet, don't include any.
- Install a bunch of extra software nobody asked for or wants.
- Automatically sign us up for e-mail newsletters and other announcements.
- Charge us $35 per call to speak to "Bob" in Bangalore when we have problems.
- Force us to upgrade products to get the same functionality we already had in the old version.
- Make us enter the same information (like e-mail addresses) multiple times.
- Require us to retype squiggly letters that are virtually impossible for humans to decipher when signing up for new accounts. (Note to Microsoft: This means you.)
- Force us to register products and/or nag us until we capitulate.
- Promise to remember our log-ins and password, yet still make us enter them every time.
- Insist on updating the product when all we want to do is quit it and go home.
More Ways to Annoy Users, From Our Community
bbrigg says: Number 15 in the surefire ways to annoy users: Have your install program install to an obscurely named subdirectory, and put icons on the desktop and in the quick-launch bar, as well as the root of the Start menu, without giving the user any choice in the matter. A lot of well-known programs do this.
Number 16: Force us to activate and then make us do it every time we use a well-known backup program. (Adobe, are you listening?)
gundark says: 21. When upgrading to a new version of software, insist that the old version of the software still be installed before upgrading. Do not allow a simple CD check for the old version.
Aoertel says: As soon as I clicked the link to read a list on "the most annoying products," what should I see? A pop-up ad wanting me to subscribe to PC World. Physician, heal thyself....