Here's a few software things that have bugged me lately:
I'm currently reading Why Software Sucks by David Platt. He praises how Google senses the country you are connecting from and uses the language of that country e.g. Spanish in Mexico. The problem is, it does this even if I am logged in to my account. Just because I am in another country doesn't mean I've changed my language. It's possible to get back to English but it's annoying nonetheless.
Next, I'm on my bank web site paying some bills (a feature I do appreciate). A message shows up telling me I can now receive one of my bills electronically, rather than having it mailed to me. Great! I click on the link and get presented with a blank form, without the name of the company filled in, forcing me to pick it from a huge list. (Most of the list is not applicable, e.g. for other provinces.) Next there is a "Name" field - who's name? mine? but surely it knows my name? or the company name? but I just picked it from a list? I leave it blank and continue - it doesn't complain so I'm still not sure what it wanted. Next it tells me I have to sign up for an ePost account. It's free, but it's annoying to have to sign up for yet another on-line account and come up with yet another password. Can't the company send bills to my bank without every account holder having to sign up for ePost?
But the best is yet to come. I get through the ePost signup, only to be told that I have to contact the company personally, by phone, before I can complete the process. Yeah, right. I pay bills on the evenings and weekends, so I have to wait till business hours to phone. Then I can look forward to the "pleasure" of an automated phone system and being on hold forever. Then I'll likely talk to some poor customer service person who has never heard of sending bills electronically. No thanks. And they wonder why so many on line transactions are abandoned part way through.
We use Snagit for our screenshots. It's a good program. But it has one really annoying "feature". Quite frequently, when I start it up, it pops up a dialog saying "You have the most recent version of Snagit". I always have to read this a couple of times because the normal expectation is that it would pop up to tell you there's a newer version.
I haven't quite figured out the logic behind this one. Why do I need to be told I have the latest version? I don't think it comes up every time, so maybe it only comes up after it does a periodic check for a new version. (Of course, I only use it periodically, so it happens more often than not.) It may just be that the programmer thought that since they'd gone to all the work of checking for a new version there should be some recognition of this. Programmers are often strangely reluctant to just have the program quietly do it's stuff. Maybe we need pop up blockers for more than just our web browsers.
There is a link on the dialog to the release notes. So perhaps the purpose of the pop up is to give you a chance to read the release notes. But surely if that was the purpose it would only pop up once after installing a new version. How many times (if any) do I want to read the release notes?
Enough being critical, I'd better go and try to do better myself. It's always easier to criticize. (Why Software Sucks does actually suggest solutions or at least, better alternatives, to most of the things it complains about.)