Copyright 2004 by M. Uli Kusterer Fri, 29 Nov -1901 11:06:32 GMT Comments on article x2005-03-07b at x2005-03-07b Comments witness_dot_of_dot_teachtext_at_gmx_dot_net (M. Uli Kusterer) witness_dot_of_dot_teachtext_at_gmx_dot_net (M. Uli Kusterer) en-us Comment 3 by Aaron Ballman Aaron Ballman writes:
Yes, but brand identity should never get in the way of the user. For example, with my Nike shoes or my Dodge pickup truck, I know the brand and see them and can identify them, but it's not a part of my user experience with the object. For example, the horn on my truck is a standard-sounding truck horn. It doesn't play the Dodge jingle. ;-)

Software companies do some absolutely horrendous things to make their brands stick out in people's minds, and that's why I won't use their products. I enjoy using products that do what I need them to do without getting in my way constantly.

So go ahead, stick your logos in the installer. But don't go much further than that -- it's not going to help your cause.
Comment 2 by Uli Kusterer Uli Kusterer writes:
I just had that discussion with a colleague at work: I guess it's the point of brand identity and marketing vs. usability. If you want to sell a product, it's in your interest to ensure your users have a separate spot in their brain set apart for your product. You want them to think "Excel" not "Spreadsheet". Because otherwise, they'll eventually realize that your competitors exist and that those might be an alternative.

OTOH, from the user's point of view, that is bad. You want to reuse as much previous knowledge as you can and focus on your work instead of memorizing logos and brands. In the end, we need a compromise: Brands need to stand back a bit so users can still recognize them even if he hasn't memorized the corporate ID, while users will have to cope with some brand identity, because otherwise the company goes broke and they'll have to switch programs every year.

Okay, that's simplified.
Comment 1 by Aaron Ballman Aaron Ballman writes:
You're absolutely correct. Modern installers tend to bother me because they're either lacking in information when they ask you a question, they have extraneous information that no one cares about (such as a welcome screen), or they have way too much information (der... a EULA?).

I think UI design has largely gone downhill in all camps. OSes tend to provide the underpinnings and examples of how NOT to do things (drawers: Mac, Toast windows: Win, etc) instead of leading the charge in making the end user's experience good. I could sit and rattle off numerous examples of horrible UI and never even have to touch on a 3rd party application. My hope is that vendors begin to figure out that shiny and sparkly only goes so far towards making a useful user experience.

Ok, I'm done ranting and rambling, I promise. ;-)