UX and Privacy

I bought a Samsung Galaxy Nexus — running Google’s Android 4.0, ICS — several months ago. I ditched the iPhone 4 just past half way through my contract, and you know what? This is the best user experience I’ve had on a phone to date.

But this blog post isn’t about a phone. It’s about Google, and moreso, about User Experience. My Twitter feed lately has been negative-GOOG. Specifically: Google’s new privacy policy. And this is from the same pro-Apple users who tick and confirm the iTunes Ts & Cs every fucking update without reading the damn thing. Likely the same people who use Facebook day-in-day-out without ever reading their privacy policy either.

Nobody reads a “privacy policy”. Nobody reads a “terms and conditions”. Yet now it’s Google’s turn to be the whipping post?

The thing is, when User Experience (UX) is especially outstanding concerns over privacy and legal-slash-moral rights are low. When Apple presented the iPhone — a smartphone — into a market of “feature phones” nobody gave a shit about legal contracts or rights. When user experience — relating to usability, accessibility, and value for money — is above average nobody cares. But then suddenly you fuck up UX; you’re the bad guy. Sometimes you don’t even have to do anything wrong, the other guy just has to outdo you. Sometimes they don’t even have to do anything right, you just fail to meet expectations. What’s the lesson here? Provide better UX than your competition and suddenly they’re the ones screwing their customers, not you.

Welcome to the fickle Web.

It’s not about privacy, or morals, or human rights, legal rights, copyrights, or any bloody rights. It’s about perception. Show me something hot and I’ll sign a contract. But dare to disappoint me — you’ve lost a customer! The old adage of “the customer is always right” has never been more wrong.

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