Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Death and Taxes (again)

I shouldn't be surprised anymore. It's been almost three years. But this is a good one. Take this example from a popular tax software package. I won't use it's name, but it rhymes with "BlurboFrax." (By the way, I'm a big fan of BlurboFrax!).

Good News! I'm a qualifying widow(er).

Not only am I a qualifying widow(er), I'm an IT guy. I've written software and led teams and I can just imagine how this funny little message slipped through the analysis and the usability research. Likely whomever led final acceptance testing was considering messages in relation to possible return  how much money you get back not so much about anything else. And if the user of the software can claim qualifying widow(er) status, it helps. Just like if you can check the exemption box that you are blind. Good news!

I wonder what BlurboFrax and the IRS would consider great news?

1 comment:

  1. No points for sensitivity there :) Enthusiastic software messages always seemed over-the-top to me anyway. I recall getting a "good news" message on a regular basis from some website for something that was not that big of a deal, so it doesn't surprise me that everyone's favourite tax software would include one at an inappropriate time. After all, if software engineers had social skills, they'd go into marketing :)

    Software Engineer