Microsoft Office for Mac: How not to design your installation experience

I needed PowerPoint to change files for a project so I went to grab a copy of Office. Not only did I have to download the entire 900MB package of Office (instead of just the PowerPoint app I wanted) it had a terrible first experience. Each time I try a Microsoft product these days, it just feels so clunky. Where’s the aesthetic and pleasing design? I know they can do this.

It’s simple things like the email they sent me from “” (which of course is what you see your email software first) rather than adding a name like “Microsoft Office”.

Or the installation itself. I downloaded a copy of the software (which, for what it’s worth, “2011” makes it feel old by now when everyone else is updating software o 6-week schedules) and installed it. Then it immediately required a critical update. And another one. And a third one. During the course of which I wasn’t allows to have any browsers open. If I just downloaded your software why doesn’t it have all the critical updates?

I think the final frustation of bad user experience was when all the updates where done. The updater presented a dialog that made me feel like having no updates is a bad thing. Apple does the same thing with their automatic updates (incidentally, Apple “fixed” this in Mountain Lion by running updates through App Store which has it’s own problems). Why not just close the updater if there are no more updates? Really, I’m not that emotionally attached to my software updater that I need a modal dialog to tell me it’s all fresh. Oh, and when I clicked “OK”? It still didn’t close; I had to quit the updater app.


3 thoughts on “Microsoft Office for Mac: How not to design your installation experience

    1. I have not used Microsoft Office for years, but I had to install it to help make changes to a PowerPoint presentation my team is puting together. Appreciate the link but Google Docs covers all my needs except when I actual need Office.

      1. Sure, Google Docs is a very good alternative in terms of usability and free storage space. However, I don’t like Google’s policy: That they have complete rights to your data. They can copy, change, delete, and use it if they want. If you have confidential data this is an absolute no-go. For example, if you are collecting data for research you can get into serious legal problems.

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