Poor Design – Yahoo Asks You To Upgrade Firefox Within Safari

by Thomas Beutel

Every so often I have the opportunity to help a friend with a seemingly intractable computer problem. More often than not, the problem is not really a problem at all, it is just plain awful design. Case in point:

Screen shot 2013-11-11 at 5.28.23 PM

My friend was using Safari and this appeared every time he wanted to access his email. And he desperately wanted to do the right thing, which was to upgrade and make this recommendation go away. So he tried to upgrade Safari, which he can’t because he is still on Snow Leopard. So then he tried upgrading Firefox, thinking that perhaps that it might be a plugin issue. So he downloaded Firefox, installed, and rebooted. And every time he opened up Safari, this message appeared. Being determined, he did this seven times. He was really upset and frustrated because he tried to do the right thing but couldn’t, and so he called me.

The point is not that my friend didn’t know that Firefox was an alternative to Safari. The point is that you should not be asking your users to upgrade a browser different from the one they are using. Safari has no knowledge of whether Firefox is up to date, nor should it.

My friend is not only person struggling with this:


What did I advise my friend to do? Just ignore Yahoo’s recommendation and continue on to Mail.