I’m stretching the meaning of ‘doesn’t take no for an answer’ a bit here in order to make this post fit into the broader series of posts I’ve been making on this subject recently, but apart from the fact that this time the dialog does offer me the choice of ‘Never’, the dialog *forces* me to make this choice on it’s terms instead of mine.
The dialog I’m talking about let’s me configure my backup settings. My problem with this dialog is that it comes up before the app itself opens, and cannot apparently be cancelled or ignored. I do not want to make this choice at this time. I was about to send a message to a contact (the core feature of WhatsApp), but now I’m forced to think about my backup settings and make a choice instead. I am not allowed to continue until I make a decision on a non-related and (for me) non-urgent matter.
This is yet another example of suppliers prioritizing their own agenda above that of the user and changing the user interface to ‘strong arm’ the user into making a choice. Just like those salesmen that come to your door with this great offer that expires any moment and that you have to decide on right now, these apps are acting, not in the best interest of their user, but of the company behind it.
Yes, the app is free for most. But some people actually paid to use WhatsApp, which makes this even more annoying. Wait, I paid good money for this app and now you won’t let me use it until I answer your questions?? What if they some day decide that there is more they want to know? What if this screen keeps coming up? Asking for your e-mail address one day, to confirm where you went to school the next day, to rate the call quality on yet another day etc etc?? Would there come a point where we would say ‘hold up, people paid money to use this app, and now you are blocking them from using it until they do what you want, this is not legal’? When would that point be? How about right now?? One dialog blocking your use of a paid app is one dialog too many!
What do you think? Is this kind of ‘blocking’ dialog ok in your book? Do you have other examples of software doing this? Please let me know in the comments below.