I normally don’t rant at this blog about trivial stuff in life since this blog is about IR and search engine research. Today I feel like I want to make an exception. So let see how I can tie few rants about silly every-day things to search engines.

Rant 1

I bought the Home and Student version of Windows Office ($122, through Costco). The learning curve started. I tried to open its case by just pulling off the red tab as suggested. The red tab was detached from the case and still there was no “open Sesame”. I then tried different thing until decided to slice the clear seal at the top of the case with a knife and voila! Nothing like a puertorican solution for a “Made in Puerto Rico” Windows Vista product! Duh!

So the recipe is: (1) get a knife, (2) slice seal, and (3) pull with your fingers the case identations toward your right. The inside case should open.

Out of curiousity I wanted to know if others out there struggled with the design of the case. I ended up googling for how to open windows office case and found this site which discussed the very same problem and the very same solution. I realize I was not alone.

There are now dozen of sites like this one that show users this dumb “how-to”. Many are complaining about the “brilliant” design of the box, which is just an usability and accessibility nightmare.

Read what others at the aforementioned site are commenting. Some there commented that ended up searching for:

open office 2007 box
open vista box
Office Packaging “how to open”
open microsoft office box
how to open MS office 2007 box

Something from the product design side is wrong when soooo many have to Google for just how to open the damn case of a Microsoft product, or of any product for that matter. Some thing is wrong when Microsoft lab rats have to explain online how to open the annoying case.

Rant 2

There is a local conference on information security I was invited to. Down the organization pipeline, something is wrong with a conference when their organizers have to chase for potential presenters one week before the event. I pass and wish them good luck.

Rant 3

There is a local company that created a database-driven site for the upcoming Elections. The problem: how to get politicians and average users to know how to use the technology. Also, the site already needs to be redesigned so it can rank high and gain traffic from search engine users.

All these, kind of belong to the Land of Duh.