User Interface: Be Nice!

A short post for a busy week.

I just downloaded the Spore Creature Creator, and this file showed up on my desktop: 792248d6ad421d577132c2b648bbed45scctrial_na.exe.

Why not “Spore Creature Creator Trial Install.exe”, or, if spaces aren’t your thing, “SporeCreatureCreatorTrialInstall.exe”? Either would be infinitely more meaningful than an MD5 hash followed by an acronym and a region code.

While the developers may have had a reason (though I can’t imagine it’s a good enough reason) to use this file name, the web team has no excuse.

There’s a lesson here: be nice to users. Whether it’s just a file name or helpful error messages or designing a user interface/experience, don’t treat your users like machines that parse your (bizarre) internal formats.

And Will Wright, if you’re listening, ask someone to rename that file.