Programm for Outlook and get a Porsche


Well, at least if you are the first to solve Rick’s problem of an annoying glitch in Outlook. Because he figures – as I assume correctly:

So, I will resort to the thing I know works: Greed.

The first MSFT employee who sends me an updated version of Outlook that fixes this problem, gets a new Porsche. That’s right, a brand new Porsche. It’s a looker and I promise it will turn heads. I have it right here on my desk, err, downstairs in the garage.

What’s interesting is not so much the Porsche part, but that a user is so annoyed about something in his software, that he puts a ridicolous amount of money in the game to finally, finally get this one solved.

Which is, if you talk to some programmers, seen as ‘not important’. Because “you just need to … nobody will ever want to …” Oh yes. We need, we will, and we want. Even more. There are so many more annoyances in software, little glitches, which make the uses angry. The unimportant ones – which drive the users crazy.

Like pop in front in windows – the “Join the “don’t steal my focus” initiative!!” quest is still open, and btw, I get several hits a day for “prevent stealing focus” or “don’t steal my focus” etc. A task for Longhorn to solve.

When you get feedback from me on software, this is usually, what many of my entries are about. The small things. No proper (standard!) keyboard support, UI not made as it should be, arrangement of dialogues, stupid default settings or no settings at all, and and and. And it is still very common for me to receive exactly that answer: “oh, that is nothing. I thought you would come up with something substantial”. From my point of view, those things are substantial. So again, thanks Rick for your post, as I can come up with “people pay Porsches for such features!”.

[I am very thankful that Matt Webb showed in his presentation at reboot, that there are more people recognising those problems, so I don’t feel funny anymore about it ;). Now, I got to get that Mind Hacks book, so I can babble around with terms from the book to make an impression in case my usual “you don’t want that to stay in there. fix that!” does not work. :)]


6 Responses to “Programm for Outlook and get a Porsche”

  1. Okay, my first glimpse, I’m in love with your blog! AFter reading only two posts. Put that feather in your cap and smoke it. Good, well, it sounds like me a little, a lot even, are you my shadow sister?

    A user advocate. Yes I like that very much. Must take my jacket off and stay a while. Hmmm.

    I think I’ll write a post about this site tonight, on Blog Core Values:

    Relatively rare, but so very nice: email notification of comment replies.

    Alright, I thank Chris for introducing me to you. Gotta send him an email and tell him, yeah this CTBKind is the Real Deal User Advocate Sharp-tonguer. Good.

  2. Nicole says:

    I’m just selfish. And if I get, what I want, many people’s life is better. At least sometimes ;)

  3. Usability analysis necessarily centers on the needs and abilities of users, a focus on the user self, rather than on the designer’s opinion, which is generally of no value at all.

  4. Nicole Simon says:

    really, user centered? see, that one I never would have guessed …

    (Irony requires responding humor interest on the other side too.)

  5. Mark says:

    What is the link to the technical problem/question? Can a non-Microsoft employee accept the challange and get the prize? Why limit it to only Microsoft employees? Hackers can do wonders.

  6. Nicole says:

    Mark, I think if Rick just wanted a hack, he could get it so easy. But he wants it for real in the product :)