Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Avast antivirus iconApp Review   ----   ☕☕ /☕☕☕☕☕
Works on: Win desktop/ Surface / tablet / Windows phone

Avast Antivirus Windows store page

Every once in awhile I see an app that puzzles me. Avast antivirus app for Windows 10 is one. It doesn’t really do anything except … well … nothing.  After writing the first draft of this review, I realised my real frustration stems from the fact I expected so much more from the company. They offer great antivirus protection and that isn’t reflected in their offering.

Avast vastly over estimates peoples’ ability to understand how antivirus programs work and assumed everyone would get that the offering is not protection of any sort. They are overly optimistic that people would carefully read their store page.  The unwary out there have mistakenly believed they’ve installed antivirus protection. The way the store page is setup is unintentionally vague. The app never says “This is NOT antivirus protection". Turns out a surprising number of people don’t really get how things like antivirus programs work. Throw in the new concept of apps for Windows and you have a mix ready for misunderstandings.  So as a result, the app is being installed as a replacement for the actual program.

After talking to a few customers, I had to disabuse them of the notion they had downloaded a new antivirus program so they’ll be safe.  These aren’t dumb people by any stretch of the imagination. They see them tools, nothing more. Their eyes glaze over when I’m explaining the ins and outs of protection. This, coupled with the ambiguous store page, has led to confusion about the apps purpose.

The Avast app is simply an advertising platform for their products … which brings me to another complaint.  It offers no functionality beyond a half hearted blog, tucked way down way down on the app. So vague product information, a blog that’s hidden away like some embarrassing relative and no real information, all of which has created a half-hearted app. 

If I were designing Avast’s app I’d rework it this way:

  • On the store page put a big THIS IS NOT AN ANTIVIRUS PROGRAM banner. No room for misunderstanding means there won’t be some uncomfortable backlash

  • Plunk underneath the banner “Use this handy app to access a full working antivirus program”

  • Under each program I’d place a clear explanation of what the program will do and how to install it.  At the moment, there’s no details, just BIG icons. People need details so give it to them.

  • Put in another disclaimer halfway down the app “To protect your computer you need to download the full program” because people tend to gloss over a lot of stuff.  

  • Keep the blog and move it to the top fold. Avast offers some good information; it should be showcased

  • Promote the idea that Avast wants EVERYONE protected and point to their free offering, then put a brief explanation as to why it’s advisable to upgrade to the full version for more features (they are a business and it only makes sense to try and drive customers to their paid version)

  • Include, as part of the blog, information for non technical people. Maybe a running commentary on what the current dangers are, but worded in plain language. Or better still a separate section called “Demystifying virus protection”

  • Include a small history of antivirus protection on a side bar

  • Include a link to the latest virus threats so people who wish to learn more can quickly access info

Avast had so many opportunities to sell their product and educate the public but they’ve missed the boat. Instead they offer up a sad little app.

Oh … one last thought:  I’d also add a splash of colour to offset and compliment their orange branding.  It’s very difficult to read the white on orange and it’s a bit overwhelming.

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#@!% app. Why isn't it working?

- Catpaw, 2016

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