My MacBook came along with an HP Photosmart C4280 printer/scanner/copier/hot water maker. Seems like a nice device, especially for free. Setup was fine, until I had to actually install software that accompanied the printer. Here’s the stuff that got installed:
I understand that for 90% of the customers, this is desirable. The “HP Scan Pro” helps get you up and running with a scanner. HP Photosmart Edit is a nifty little tool for photo manipulation. Ink monitors help me… well, ok, they help HP sell more ink. But I get it, and again, for the majority of users, this is the absolute correct product decision.
However, it would take NO additional work for the company to include the drivers as a standalone file on the CD, or downloadable from the Web site. This option is not available. Granted, life is better than on Windows where I’d be scared to uninstall anything for fear of missing DLLs and whatnot. I have a hunch the thinking went like this:
We are HP, we make a lot of money selling ink. We should, therefore, include tools to help sell ink. How about an ink monitor? It’ll tell the user when they need ink.
Sounds good. Ship it. But wait, what if the user doesn’t want the application?
Doesn’t matter. Gotta sell the ink.
It’s the same kind of logic that had early-stage Internet portals debating whether or not they should link out. Of course they should make it easy to get ink, but the more they empower me and give me overall product satisfaction, the longer they’ll have me as a customer. When designing your product and experience, remember that short term wins are just that: short.