Yahoo! Music’s uningratiation; and the answer to dialogue boxes

In Just say no to intrusive applications – Yahoo Music, for example Tim recounts his exasperating experience with the new Yahoo! Music, um, thing.

I said ‘No’ to every possible option that would not kill the install, even thought they all defaulted to ‘Yes’. Make Yahoo my home page … No. Make Yahoo my default search page … No. Install Yahoo Toolbar … No. Make Yahoo music my default media player … No.

s a reboot. Hey, I now have Yahoo Messenger as a startup application. I never asked for it. I signed up for a media player and an online music service. Not an instant messenger.

Well, I had a brief look at the Music Engine. I found the UI cluttered (to be fair, it is in beta). I don’t know why the industry can’t learn from the likes of Google and Apple. Simple, single-minded UI that does one thing well. But it was only a quick look, as by this time I was seriously irritated.

Frankly, it’s time we moved on from these application installs that try to hook you into an entire online environment. By the way, this is the reason Real Player lost so much goodwill in the industry, despite its strong core technology. It’s also a large factor in the number of wrecked Windows systems out there…. I’ve now removed Yahoo Music completely. Yahoo got one thing right. The uninstall works perfectly.

On a related but unconnected note, Fraser Speirs notes a neat (but almost unnoticeable) improvement in iTunes 4.8, in the dialogue when you want to remove a song from your Library. Rather than the old “Cancel/No/Yes options – which are always confusing – it has “Cancel/Keep Files/Move to Trash”, which is much more meaningful.

You can pretty much set up the rule (which I think is in Apple Human Interface Guidelines already) that dialogue boxes should have a verb in the buttons. Else all sorts of bad things can happen. Fraser has a couple of examples; you can think of more.

Microsoft is of course one of the worst culprits in this. Word has an option when you double-click a file in the Finder which is already open: “Revert to saved file? Yes/No”. I’ve no idea what the options mean, nor which one to press.

3 Comments

  1. “Microsoft is of course one of the worst culprits in this. Word has an option when you double-click a file in the Finder which is already open: “Revert to saved file? Yes/No”. I’ve no idea what the options mean, nor which one to press.”

    I am SO glad you said that. I thought I was the only person in the world that didn’t know what that meant. BTW, did you ever find out?

    Jim

  2. To explain the above: if you open a Word document, then make some changes (without saving), then double-click on the document’s icon, then say “Yes” to “revert to saved”, you’ll lose the changes you’ve just made. The document “reverts” to the form it was in when it was last saved.

    I think that’s how it works, anyway.

  3. So it should say in the dialog box “Opening the saved document will lose the changes you’ve made. Do you still want to open it? Cancel/Lose changes/Don’t Open [default]”

    Right? Hey, I could get a job at the Microsoft UI department. I think it could do with some beefing up, judging by what’s been going on over Longhorn.

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