August 3, 2008

GUI Failures: Trillian Installer

Posted in Beginner at 5:56 pm by gloriouscomputing

So I’m trying to install Trillian. It’s already unfortunate that the Windows standard is to make people click Next mindlessly when a silent install with defaults would be so much nicer (Oops, I should have used GetIt). However, conforming to standards is usually good, when you don’t want to confuse people.

But what’s with this?

Trillian Installer Failure

Yes, Trillian doesn’t have a folder in my Program Files yet. You know why that is? Because I haven’t installed it yet!

“To Install Trillian, click Next” -> “Install Trillian? But Trillian isn’t installed yet! Are you sure?”

The folder not existing yet is GOOD. It’d be potentially bad if it DID exist. There should not be an confrontation: “Things are just as they should be. Everything is perfect. Are you sure you want to continue?”

Hm, that sure was a GUI failure. But why exactly does nobody use Trillian anymore? Is Pidgin just that awesome, or did Trillian nail it’s own coffin?

Aha! Opt-Out adware. People sure do hate that. But wait! That’s more! (Note for argument below, that I wasn’t the one who checked “Yes”. It was pre-selected, but WeatherBug or whatever is on the right track here, unlike Ask below.)

The Ask toolbar? I didn’t know Ask had a toolbar!

Now, I hear that some people like tool bars. That is… it’s a rumour. I don’t actually know a single living breathing person who likes a website taking up their screen real estate without doing anything useful.

But enough about how tool bars suck. Did you notice something?

I believe opt-out adware is the only part of installers that check “I Agree to Your EULA” by default. You don’t have to click I agree! This is never done by real programs.

The whole “Clicking a Button, and/or Checking a checkmark” seems like a questionable way to make people agree, but none of that even took place here.

If you read the entire Ask Tool Bar page, you don’t click/press anything that is written to constitude your agreement.  You only click Next. Nowhere does it say that by clicking Next, you Agree to what the checkmark assumes you agree to. After all, “Next” is not a signature. “Next” is like flipping through the contract. We assume that actually clicking anything that says “I Agree” right on it is like a signature, but “Next” certainly is not. That said, I’m sure my argument wouldn’t win in court.

But you can always vote down adware (to me, adware is any software that includes other software I never asked for, that has nothing to do with the actual program) like this by choosing alternative software.