Stating the Obvious

Feb 28 2012   11:13AM GMT

We’re Improving Your Experience (Abuse as “Upgrade”)

Joseph Carrabis Profile: Joseph Carrabis


Predictive Intelligence, Persuasion Engineering, Interactive Analytics and Behavioral Metrics I just started my online chat tool of choice after being away for a bit. There was a new version available and I decided, what the heck, let’s give it a go.

My first warning of impending disaster was the message “We’re improving your experience.”

Evidently the way to improve my experience involves first moving my desktop icon from where I’ve had it for years to where it’s suppose to be…some place I’d never look for it.

Well, Thankee!

Next Skype automatically fired up my webcam and microphone so I was suddenly looking at my pre-coffee morning self.

Captain%20Excellent.jpgBut what about the image I’ve been using for quite some time (that’s it on the right. I’m sparing you my pre-coffee morning self)? The one I chose because it has special meaning to me and everyone who knows me?

Nope, no, that image is gone, lost and forgotten, evidently.

Well Thankee!2

I’ve written about how user interfaces should be upgraded in several places, about how human psychology works when things change and one of the big No-No’s is forcing upgrades and modifications on people who don’t want or are unprepared for them.

You want to improve my experience?

Easy, make it work faster, cleaner, quicker without changing how I need to interact with it because the minute my interaction methodology changes all sorts of psychological inhibitors come into play about using the d?mn thing.

I mean, how many people you know simply love change?

Want me to embrace changes you, the vendor, wants in place?

Easy, let me explore them, prove to me they benefit me and I’ll beg you for them.

Benefit? Make my life easier, simpler, give me more time, greater value, …

But don’t, dear lord, change things on me simply because it benefits you.

Psychology has a term for you changing my life in order to make your life easier when you do so without telling me what’s involved, Abuse.

As in, “We’re going to change everything on you without telling you, without giving you an option in it, without asking your opinion, and we’re going to tell you it’s for your own benefit and that you’ll like it better. Or else.”

Some will respond, “But people can look up the changes before installing” and my response is “Further evidence of abuse”. How come the changes aren’t listed right beside there “Upgrade” button? How come people have to go looking for something that explains how their life will be easier?

For ways in which technology has improved your life, press 3I’m reminded of the quote “For ways in which technology has improved your life, press 3”. Changes aren’t listed because 1) companies know people are inherently lazy and won’t go looking and 2) few consumers would upgrade if the changes were listed (in an easily understandable manner).

For example:
Selecting this upgrade will

  • Improve your sound quality
  • Improve your connection quality
  • Cause you to reload any existing profile images or select a new one because your old one will be lost
  • Move your desktop icon to a completely different part of the screen causing you to move it back to where you originally positioned it if you want to find it there again
  • Automatically fire up your webcam and microphone (even if they were working perfectly before) to take a new picture of yourself to use as your online image (privacy-phobes must love this; firing up camera and microphone without first asking permission? Whoa!)

Now, care to upgrade?

I think not.

NextStage OnSite Visitor Analysis ToolNextStage recently received kudos from several clients regarding some of our NextStage OnSite Visitor Analysis Tool (NSOS) reports. We figured out how to generate the reports faster, we provided more information in the reports and clearer definitions of what was being reported.

But we didn’t change how clients log in, how they select reports, the look&feel of the reports, …, only what happens in the background.

Eventually all that other stuff may change…

…but not with first asking permission…

Please contact NextStage for information regarding presentations and trainings on this and other topics.

Please contact NextStage for information regarding presentations and trainings on this and other topics.

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RVMsmallfrontcover.jpgHave you read my latest book, Reading Virtual Minds Volume I: Science and History? It’s a whoppin’ good read.

And you can always follow me on Twitter. I don’t twit often but when I do, it’s with gusto!

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