Chrome user experience fail

Chrome user experience fail

A couple weeks ago I started using Last Pass in an attempt to improve the security of my passwords. (It’s software where you have one password to login to it and then it automatically logs in to your various sites/apps for you. So far it works better in theory than in practice, but I do think my online banking is more secure now.)

I thought I had the kinks worked out and was getting used to it when all of the sudden LastPass stopped working. After a few false starts I went into the Extensions settings in chrome, where LastPass was disabled along with a perky note telling me that Chrome had disabled 3rd-party apps “to help chrome run faster.” I was mildly irritated, but re-started LastPass and chalked it up to one of those minor irritations that happen with software sometimes.

Until the next time I rebooted my computer–in which it happened *again*. That struck me as really odd; I had installed the extension myself and I had explicitly over-ridden the automatic disabling of the extension and yet they had disabled the extension again. Doing some searching, I’m not the only person who is irritated by this as seen by product forums like this one.

So, this is a drag and I suppose it could send me back into the arms of Firefox, which I left primarily because the ceaseless updating got to be too much work–but that’s not all that interesting. What is interesting is that a possible interpretation of the motivation for this functionality is that it was intended to improve the user experience by “cleaning up” third party extensions that had been “silently” installed, but in doing this they created the first chrome experience that was negative enough for me to continue switching browsers.

(Given that they stopped allowing extensions to be silently installed over a year ago, “to improve the user experience” may be an overly generous interpretation–so it’s also possible this decision had nothing to do with improving the user experience and was more around increasing ad revenue by hampering ad-blocking extensions.)

It does seem to me that this action is violating their #1 philosophy, regardless of the interpretation. There has to be a better way to achieve whatever it is they are trying to achieve.


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