the cupboard has a hangover
The year started well as I rolled out of bed in my warm brushed cotton, red tartan, pyjamma set. Mumsy buys the best christmas pressies with her Marks and Spencers loyalty card. As the teapot brewed I lifted the cupboard‘s lid and logged in.
The warm, fluffy feeling started fading as Microsoft’s .NET framework announced an ‘unhandled exception‘ in MY ‘application‘. My cheeky little application had the afrontary to so something without proper handling? Naughty!’
This verbose .NET Framework message appeared to offer me 2 choices in the first paragraph:
- ignore this error (continue button)
- force my application to close (quit button)
The second paragraph is written in jargon about turning on functions, configuring, clients, trace-logs and SDKs. This is 2012, good practice for producing software error messages has been around for decades. Why is Microsoft still showing me outrageously poorly designed dialogs? Especially first thing in the morning of the new year. pfft. I choose to ignore this message because it didn’t enable me to make an informed decision – which ‘application’ of mine is exceptional?
- raised it’s hand with a message
- started its conversation with me by apologising. Nice! This takes ownership for having caused the problem and sets the tone of the conversation with me as one of respect to me
- tells me firefox will try to fix the problem – doesn’t expect me to fix it
- politely asks for me to give them diagnostic information. Which I did
I really like the tone of voice, the attitude, of Mozilla when talking to me
As I poured my second mug of tea another potential culprit for the ‘application’ that Microsoft .NET framework found ‘exceptional’ raised it’s hand
The large, ugly, Sony Viao update dialog insisted that I update my netbook software then told me I had to reboot the cupboard. It’s direct instructional approach feels rather rude. I follow the instructions because I’ve been trained by years of poor software to feel helpless and follow this type of condescending instruction
It’s like being in the 1990’s all over again