The other day I was looking for a different instant messaging application that could be used with the system we use at work. I came across Trillian Astra and decided to try it since it looked like it would connect to our network.
Trillian has an attractive installer. But they’ve adopted what seems to be a common practice of installing an unnecessary Internet Explorer toolbar as well as offering to change the Internet Explorer’s default search provider. They also adopted the common practice of swapping the check boxes for these very different actions. The toolbar check box is down below the license agreement, away from the actual title of the screen and the sample of the toolbar they are proposing to install.
Trillian is also engaging in a different behavior from other software vendors that attempt to install Internet Explorer toolbars. Immediately after offering to install an unnecessary toolbar, they offer to install an unnecessary Microsoft Outlook plugin. This screen presents a completely different mechanism for installing this unnecessary piece of software. Note that there are not check boxes in the red area of the screen like there were in the previous dialog. As a user, my first thought when looking at this screen was “OMG, I have to install this plugin into Outlook to be able to use this instant messaging system?” It took a few seconds, but then I noticed that the navigation buttons had changed. There were two options: one to accept the plugin and another to proceed without installing the plugin.
Needless to say, I skip installing the free toolbar, changing my search provider, and adding an Outlook plugin.