Thursday, February 21, 2013

Java thinks I want the Ask Toolbar, and I have 12 pixels to avoid it


Today, my computer prompted me to update Java. I agreed, and then the above popup appeared on my screen. They "recommend" that I install the FREE Ask browser add-on. These add-ons are most often such a bad experience. To make things worse, for most people, they are almost impossible to remove once installed. This also feels like an anachronism.  We are living in a time where everything is changing. Intel is exiting the motherboard business to focus on the “next unit of computing.” That is huge. A disruptive wave of change is happening.
Another thing that makes this feel like something from the late 90s is the interface design. Today, interfaces are so much more touchable and large because in many instances they literally are. Look at the below screen grab from delicious.com.
The "Join" button is absolutely huge by earlier-than-2010 standards. To stop the installation of the annoying Ask.com toolbar in the Java screen, I have to get my mouse over a 12x12 pixel checkbox. Does Java work on Microsoft Surface? Will I have to touch this to deselect it? Look at the two UI components next to each other:

It will be interesting to watch the evolution of visual design in the next couple years as the hardware evolves.

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