I just re-booted my less-than-ideal "Frankenstein" system (my "good" computer is still non-functioning, not recognizing the new HD I'd bought for it) and found that Adobe was wanting to update Flash on it. Now, if you've been paying any attention to the machinations of the evil Apple people, Flash has been targeted by them for an early ignominious demise. One would think that a company whose product needed "fans" would be doing as much as they could to not alienate "default users". However, what I just went through (not that it was time consuming, or difficult) with this update made me think that Adobe had nobody even asking questions about "how people think of us".
First of all, what I initially got was a pop-up out of nowhere. Those always make me wonder. And on this pop-up were two items, a check-box indicating that one had read and agreed to their Terms, with a link to said info, and a "QUIT" button. I usually at least give a "courtesy click" to those sorts of things, and did so. This then launched FireFox. Now, I was pretty sure that this was going to be a problem with the install (I'd previously closed a brief Chrome session before dealing with the Adobe pop-up), and was wondering what that info hadn't just come through with whatever was generating the pop-up.
Again, one would think that if one was going to look at the terms for version X of product Y from a pop-up that was looking for agreement to those terms in order to proceed with a software update, that the LINK involved would go to the appropriate info. Instead, FireFox takes me to a page with dozens of programs, with sub-options for various versions of these. Instead of "here's what you need to agree to", I'm off at the Big Archive of Agreements, and having to both find the program in question and what version it was that was trying to install itself.
Sure, in the grand scheme of things this was just 30 seconds of poking around, but, still ... why not just go to the appropriate file? Could it be because the "terms" that one has to claim to have read and understood was a .pdf file 280 page long? Yes, to install the new version of Flash, one (in theory) has to either read and process a book-length document, or lie about having done so. Who knows what sort of sneaky shit might have been embedded in the endless droning tech-legalese boilerplate in there?
So, like everybody else, I lie and click the box saying that I both have read and actually understand that crap and the install proceeds. Just to the point where the pop-up is now chastising me for having FireFox open, and telling me that the install can't proceed without closing down the offending program or programs (I'm sure it would have bitched about Chrome as well, had I not already closed that). "Dude!" (I'm thinking), "It was you who opened that up!" ... and in a somewhat surly mood go to shut down FireFox so as not to lose the tabs that were open when I'd previously shut it down. A few seconds later the update is done.
Yes, the entire process took maybe 3 minutes (I did scroll briefly through the 280-page .pdf file), but rather than being something that could have taken seconds (like the auto-updates to various programs) and little attention on my part, this has put me in a sour mood about Adobe, and their products, most notably being the under-attack-by-Apple Flash. Now, I have hated Apple and everything they've ever made going back to the original Mac (a long ugly story that I'm pretty sure I've bored you with in the past), and I really wish they'd ceased to exist back in the 90's (why didn't Bill Gates keep his checkbook closed instead of bailing those jerks out?), so anything that thwarts their plans should be something that I'm enthused about, but the experience with Adobe made me feel like I'd just had an experience with a company that was being run by lawyers and accountants which couldn't care less about how their "non-paying customers" felt about them.
Anyway, Adobe, if you're listening ... you're not in a position where doing a simple software upgrade makes people think you're jerks. You need to have some PR folks who are looking at all aspects of your "customer experience" ... and I just happen to be available to freelance/consult on the subject, if you're willing to consider doing something about this!
Gee ... I've blithered long-form here haven't I? Oh, well. A clicky-clicky on the graphic over there to check out last Friday's "big link dump" post would be appreciated. I've had a busy week over at The Job Stalker with link dumps on both past Fridays, a book feature from last Monday, and a "job pro" interview from Wednesday. Just need to find time (obviously crack-of-dawn on a Saturday morning after actually getting to sleep at night is a good time) to crank out posts about them!