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Software Industry to Blame for Poor Pop-ups
The BBC recently reported on a study at North Carolina State University where as many as 63% of the test subjects were fooled to click on fake pop-up messages.
While some claim this is proof that users are idiots, I think that someone else is really to blame - the software industry. Really, what do companies expect from the user after years and years of producing software with poor usability? Software that is constantly prompting the user for stupid actions or displaying cryptic error messages. Raise your hand if you are guilty of clicking the "OK" button on a pop-up without reading the message (I know I am).
But you can't really fault us as users; we have simply been taught, one pop-up at a time, that even such messages from industry-leading software producers don't necessarily have anything important to tell us. The boy (or, in this case, the software industry) has simply cried wolf too many times and this has left users vulnerable to cons such as malware-loading pop-ups.
What are we going to do about this sorry state of pop-ups? While we can't speak for the whole industry, the people here at Lavasoft are consciously making an effort to improve the usability of our products. So, if you see something that confuses or irritates you in our software, please let us know. Developers and users alike will thank you for it.
The battle that was lost one bad pop-up at a time might just be won - one well-written (or removed) pop-up at a time.