Microsoft and usability

10 years ago  •  By  •  0 Comments

Since Satya Nadella started as the CEO of Microsoft I've seen changes to the company. It's slowly becoming a customer oriented organisation. Today I tried to reinstall Office on my wife’s Mac. Microsoft, if you want people to be enthusiastic about your products again you'll find some nice point for improvement in the article below.

Downloading and installing Office for mac

  • I go to the Microsoft site.
  • A product key is requested (5 separate fields)
  • I find the product key in her work licensing environment
  • Enter the product key
  • Select the language
  • Give in the captcha
  • Sign up for a Microsoft account
  • Some of the fields that are mandatory:
    • Date of birth
    • Gender
    • Country
    • ZIP code
  • Select the right software language
  • Download the software
  • Install the software
  • Quit Chrome, otherwise the software won’t install
  • I enter the product key
  • Microsoft puts every application they install in the doc
  • Done

Some improvements to the entire experiencing

Entering the product key the first time

First of If you want to validate I have a product key just ask me – something you do on page one. If I say yes, it’s probably true. You will check it on installing the software and if I where a software pirate, would I go to your site to download the product?

The second thing is that I have to input it in 5 sequences of 5 chars. In the installer I can just copy the entire string. If you wanted to keep the check above, why not make it one field?

Then I have to select a language and I have to do that again on the download page as well. There might be better ways to do this.

dowload site office

Pssht, can you fix the alignment in the bottom as well?

Signing up for a Microsoft account

Why would you force me to do so

My wife does not want an account. My wife does not need an account.

Why would you force me to give you personal information?

My wife does not want to input her personal details.

16 char max password length is not secure

My wife definitely wants to be the boss of the password length. Max 16 characters and using capitals, numbers and other chars does not make a password secure. Length makes strength.

No I do not want your promotion, even if you sneak it in

Most online registration forms require you to accept the agreement via a check box. You expect people to just check it as well, but in your case it’s the “we can spam you” box. Boeh. If I want your want be to be or become a fan, don’t force me to be one.


No more than 16 chars?

Quite Chrome and the Dock

I can understand you have to close some software to complete an install. But my licence key was in that Chrome session 🙁

Finally, ask me which programs I want in the dock. Doing without asking is rarely appreciated.

Downloading and installing the friendly way

  • Go to the site
  • Download software
  • Give in product key
  • Ask me if I want the apps in the dock
  • Done

One more thing

Check you translations. See the sign-in and register section at the top right corner? Aanmelden / aanmelden is not the same as Sign-in / Register.

The proper Dutch translations are

: “Aanmelden”, “Log-in”, “Inloggen”
Register: “Registreren”, “Aanmelden”, “Inschrijven”

I hope this article helps you out. I think your main focus should not be business, but user when you develop or improve your online systems. Good luck!

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