While my work is often mainly spent teaching in a classroom environment, I fortunately often also have the chance to help out in the real world.
Something I have started to notice over time is how crappy the installer is from some really great vendors.
I will not pick on anyone and call them out but I will provide four recent examples:
#1 Do not tell me a component is optional to install if your product does not function without it.
#2 Do not call it the “Simple Installer” if it asks me for a ton of information throughout the installer (make me input everything from the beginning!)
#3 Do not put me in a situation where I need to change various registry keys before your software can communicate correctly (detect this problem and change registry automatic)
#4 Please do not use wierd timers in the installer where the installation will end up in a wierd state if a certain component takes too long to install.
On the other hand I see great installers from for example Veeam Software and let me highlight two examples:
#1 The installer knows exactly which pre-requisites are needed for the installation to complete correctly
#2 The installer can automatic install said missing pre-requisites
If you have a fantastic software product, why not ensure the very first thing your customer or maybe even prospective customer running a trial will see, is a super easy to use installer that only asks for what is really needed and handles as much as possible by it self. Complex installer = Complex to use software? Most likely not, but I feel this is an often overlooked spot.
Hoping for better installers in 2015! 🙂
Let me know your hate/favorite installers in the comments, thanks!