A site devoted to discussing techniques that promote quality and ethical practices in software development.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Example of ill-treating your users - Link Market Services

This is a good example of how a company mistreating their users. Link Market Services is an Australia share registry company. It is strange that they add the word 'Services' to their company name as you will see how disservice it is to their users.

Users of this company generally has no choice. They become this company's users by being shareholders of companies that have outsourced the share registry activities to them. Hence in many ways they have no choice and this allows them to ill-treat their users as the follow examples show. This is why they believe that they can afford to ill treat their users.

This company has a chequer history of providing bad services. When it became a share registry company, it did its maintenance update at the very busy time when users querying their portfolio. It did not think that they need to notify their users upon log in that they could not access their portfolio data; very often in many case it simply told me my portfolio information were invalidated but in fact they were not; they were just updating some data. It is just amateurish to say the least.

At one time, it even tempered with my log in password that I needed to complaint to the organisation to have that rectified and assured no security breach.

The latest disservice to their users is when they redesigned their system without forewarning their users and advising them of the changes. They just did it. So users' normal log in no longer valid. Even after they successfully registered, they have lost their previously organised portfolio and they have to start again. I guess it is cheaper to simply ignoring their users because they have no choice.

This is hardly going to earn you, LinkMarketServices, respect and loyalty from your users. As they say leopard does not change its spots is so damn true. This is a real life example of how you do not design a new system without considering migration issues and your users.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Design for only the computer illiterates - AVG Downloads

If you are a developer of download manager and installer of AVG or others, please do not simply develop your download page to cater for the computer illiterates by forcing your users to use the download manager. I know many people will not have any idea which one to download - 32-bit version or the 64-bit.

But there are plenty of people out there that are very competent probably more so than you that can distinguish a 32-bit environment verse 64-bit one. Forcing everyone to use a download manager also is wasting bandwidth. Many people have several machines and it seems totally illogical to have each machine downloading the same thing because your download manager is so dumb that do not even offer the user a chance to save the file.

You should also need to cater for those power users.

Adobe Flash used to be notorious in hiding the place where one can download the stand alone installer but lately it has a change of heart and ditching the annoying download manager. This is much appreciated and a lesson AVG should learn.

In fact, I find AVG so annoying that I have been looking for programs that supply their users full installer for download and one such program is Avast. Indeed I have replaced AVG on several of my machines (real and virtual) with Avast and finding that a refreshingly good nimble no-nonsense replacement of a lumbering monster.

It seems with each new version AVG has gone backwards by a few steps. Now it is draconian attitude in forcing users to use their download manager. What next. Time for a serious rethink of using AVG.

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