27 steps to download 2 documents – what happened to usability?

Robert Flaming has posted details of the 27 steps it took him to sign up for the Windows Installer 4.5 beta, though in the end he was only able to download two Word documents.

Perhaps it is not quite as bad as it sounds – several steps to get past IE’s download warning, for example – but even so, it is a neat illustration of the torture sometimes inflicted on users who want to accomplish a rather simple task.

How many potential applicants will give up part way through? Quite a lot, I’d have thought. Then again, perhaps this is a test of suitability for the intricate and confusing world of the Windows Installer.