Monthly Archives: May 2015

Note to self: Humane, not just human-centered

These are all the hoops I had to jump through to help my aunt get WhatsApp installed on her modern smartphone.

1) Sign up for a Microsoft Account. The password hint is unhelpfully verbose, making me think that she would need an uppercase, lowercase, number and a symbol. No f***ing way she would ever remember that. But Microsoft seemed to suggest I can use another email account. I hope that that might somehow allow an easier password pattern (yup, silly me).

2) Make an account on Gmail. The first Captcha is practically unreadable, refresh.

3) Go back to Microsoft, this time make an account from the web instead of her phone, turns out I only have to use 2 of those character types in the password. Great, almost done.

4) Wait, they need to send me an email (cheekily telling me, “call us overprotective, but we need to verify this email”). I open a separate browser tab to check email, I click on the link, it says “go back to whatever you were doing”, so now I have to go back to the original page where it still shows the email sent message. Anyhow, I imagine that her account now works.

5) Now try downloading Whatsapp on her phone, sign in using the brand new account and voila! No. Wait. They need to send another frikking code to the email address. But now I am between devices! This time I can’t just click on the link, I have to enter a code into the phone.

6) Finally download the app! (Well, it was stuck as pending – but that is another story).

Man, there is no way, she could have done any of this easily. What a waste of a phone! I know security is a big issue – but this isn’t just hard it’s plain cruel. Sure, one could blame this on Microsoft, but I have no doubt this is the case for every store (I wonder how many people ever figure out that you can download free apps on the Apple Store without entering a credit card).

Software needs to be not just human-centered but humane.

Need to remind myself of that everyday.

Like this man says.