Give users the ability to escape any system notifications, with no strings attached. Notifications should respect users’ freedoms. And no more daily nags!
Either force updates to occur on a system, or give users the freedom to update whenever they please. Establish consistent interaction patterns.
Today’s evaluation: system updates!
Bar sleaze model: Apple Mac OS X
Apple forces their users to accept the interaction or procrastinate, with no option to disengage. Apple’s strategy is to wear down their users and won’t take no for an answer. All it needs is to greet its users on login with “Hey beautiful, can I buy you a drink?”
The closest option to “stop asking me to let you touch my files” is the “Later” option in the sub-menu which appears when I press “Install.”
Another example of a forced interaction is the dialogue the system threw in my face when a new version of Safari was released. I don’t really care that Safari was updated. Tell me in the application when I open it that it’s been updated. I want Safari to do what I expect it to do, when I run it. I don’t need it to be doing things while I’m not using it.
It’s ours whenever we want it: Microsoft Windows
Microsoft’s model used to be, “We’re going to update whenever we want, even if you’re in the middle of something.” The internet has many such discussions in which Windows users express their rage towards Microsoft’s forced update interactions.
Still, Microsoft takes the initiative on updates when it thinks the user has given consent (shutdown/restart is implied consent), and doesn’t care about misinterpretation: “When you say yes, I’m starting, and you can’t back out.”
The problem is the interpretation of update opportunity. I don’t only shutdown my machine when I am finished with it, I often need to restart because of system errors, memory issues, computer running slowly — something performance-related.
Microsoft should provide a third option, “Restart with updates” or “Shutdown with updates.”
Model which respects users’ choices: Gnome Desktop, Linux
Your mileage may vary when it comes to Linux, but system notifications, since they are shown in actual application windows, are not special “Look at meeee!” popups; they have a safe “out”: The “Close window” button, X.
In the above dialogue, the user is given a clear out from the proposition. You mean, I can call you back a few days from now, and you won’t nag me every day about it until I do?