Users Take Some Blame For Faulty Applications

from the it's-all-our-fault dept

In a new study that must have software vendors overjoyed, it turns out that many users blame themselves for defects they come across in the software they use. The details in the article are a little sketchy, however. It looks like they may have just assumed that anyone who doesn’t find the software vendor liable is putting the blame on themselves – which might not be accurate. However, I’m sure that there are plenty of computer users out there who naturally assume that when something goes wrong, it’s because of something they did – even when it really has nothing at all to do with the user.

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Comments on “Users Take Some Blame For Faulty Applications”

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thecaptain says:

users not to blame...not really.

From my experience as a developper, when users find problems in software and blame themselves its usually at times when they are using software other than the way it was “meant” to be..either by not reading the instructions (if there were any, I try to document, but not all developpers do) or just not “doing it right”.

The thing is, if the developper is doing a “perfect” job (its impossible to be perfect, ie: bug-free, but we should aim to be as close as possible), then there should be no way for a user to crash an application by doing something wrong…either the software has a way of dealing with it gracefully or it simply doesn’t allow you to use it other than the way its meant to be used.

However, nobody’s perfect and no software is EVER bug free…blaming users for this fact is a despicable practice.

Wally Choo says:

Re: users not to blame...not really.

Of course, there are 100x more incidents where the user blames the software for problems that have nothing to do with the software at all. So don’t feel too sorry for the users.

Many users will simply call a software vendor that has a toll free support number or a short “on-hold” time and blame whatever problem they are having on their software. It is often very difficult for support personnel to weed out what may be legitimate problems to report to development.

A user may install a simple utility, then call and say “Hey I installed your software a few days ago and today my fonts are too small!” Well, developers could spend hours trying to duplicate the problem and what probably happened is that someone else changed the font sizes on purpose.

Responsible developers, for the most part, try to concieve of every possible problem that a user may run into. Then they get a user with exactly 17 minutes of computer experience claiming their software has problems.

I think it all works out in the end.

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