Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Web User Experience Annoyances: Endless Updates

Perhaps this is something that Web Services and Web Applications will help us resolve, but we certainly aren't there yet. As we rely more upon integrated services, what we are seeing is that the applications appear to be a little more than hard of hearing (see my previous post). That really sucks for the user who has to keep re-keying and re-clicking to get the deaf interfaces to take notice.

But even when an app is deployed as a service, you still need to maintain a client platform through which to access the app. Ideally, the platform should be stable and solid, with rich but generic capabilities, and few interruptions. Yet recently the trend has been, especially on Microsoft based platforms, to force updates early, often, and gratuitously. 

When I see a system that hasn't been updated in a long time, I know from experience that if it has not been exploited yet that updating it is likely to make it more vulnerable than just leaving it alone. Updates themselves are as often as not the sources of flaws and security holes.

With the kinds of apps we run, we are seeing several updates a week to various bits -- Java, .NET, Windows OS, IE, Firefox, what have you.  It has turned out to be a real rats nest of constant updating that interrupts our activities.

Not to mention that the updates are applied when we can least afford to apply them. I hear lightning in the distance and think it is time to shut down. "Nay, Nay", Windows says, and begins to apply updates.  Time to pull the plug on Windows.

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