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Worrying use of the word "awesome"

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I hope I'm not just showing my age, but after I upgraded to V3 of Malwarebytes I was seriously dismayed to see the graphic "Awesome, you're protected."

Guys, if you're seriously in the security business, please, please cut the cuteness.

 

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Nah... that's their pet name for the user. I like being called "Awesome". It gives me the giggles.

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The trouble is, it instantly made me lose some faith in the product. This sort of language is seriously not appropriate for a security program.

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I think the use of the term "awesome" is appropriate.  It relates to you the level of malware protection the product provides in that it is "excellent or extremely good".  It says, "Awesome!  You're protected.", if indeed everything checks out OK.  And let's not forget the big green check mark!

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On 3/26/2017 at 4:24 AM, Unicore said:

I think the use of the term "awesome" is appropriate.  It relates to you the level of malware protection the product provides in that it is "excellent or extremely good".  It says, "Awesome!  You're protected.", if indeed everything checks out OK.  And let's not forget the big green check mark!

 

The word "awesome" is utterly inappropriate for usage on a professional product and certainly does not instill any confidence in Malwarebytes team that chose this type of language. It indicates that you have a lack of understanding of English and what words are meant to convey to a wider audience and therefore there is the implication that you aren't fully-rounded people that understand the use of appropriate language in the correct situation - or it comes across that you are just a bit simple...

I know you are not simple so I have to imagine the former. There is a unimpressive trend for Corporations and businesses to want to seem chatty and informal. It comes over as incredibly fake and badly condescending as no Corporation exists as your friend or your 'buddy'. Either way the use of the word awesome implies a level of ignorance on some level. You would be well advised to remove it.

Your audience does not all comprise average Americans and so an international reach requires an understanding of international English. Some of your team need to have some cultural awareness lessons to understand the effect of language on culture. It might be wise to seem less "informal American" to the outside world and as a result you will come over as a little more professional and a little less dim. The fact that you can't see this already shows you are already too entrenched in your own "casual" culture to recognise a perfectly valid recommendation from the original poster.

I have always been a paid supporter of malwarebytes and wish the best for the product and team, in all ways. Please improve in this one small area where you are deficient. I sadly expect a trite and defensive reply rather than a considered and intelligent one if it is from the same person who chose the word "awesome" to appear in the first place.

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Being a fully paid supporter of Malwarebytes and also resident in the U.K., I totally agree with the comments made by andyh and yereverluvinuncle.

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Greetings,

First off, I will definitely forward your feedback to the Product team for their consideration.  You make some valid points and if they agree that it would be best to reword it then I'm certain they will in a future release.

With that said, I'd like to offer an alternate perspective that perhaps is being overlooked and I only mention it because I'm a former member of the Malwarebytes team (I was employed by them for 8 years up until late last year, including spending much of that time as Product Manager for Malwarebytes Anti-Malware; the product now known as Malwarebytes 3 and several of the company's other offerings).  I believe this wording was chosen to reflect the attitude and personality of the company as a whole.  It is a relatively young organization with a fresh perspective on technology and how to deal with threats.  This is key because it's a big part of what has made Malwarebytes such a success over the years because their alternate perspective is precisely what has allowed them to leapfrog many of the longstanding leaders in the anti-malware space by doing things differently and finding innovative ways to proactively detect and eliminate threats that for a long time the rest of the industry was constantly playing catch-up to try and stay on top of.  This combined with a youthful and earnest attitude towards technology and helping others has helped shape what Malwarebytes is and what their products do.  They say things like We believe everyone has a fundamental right to a malware-free existence. with a straight face because they honestly believe it.  Some in the software development industry would say such things are sappy and naive, but Malwarebytes doesn't think so.  They really do believe in things like never screwing over their customers and have on many occasions taken financial losses to prove it, just because they don't believe that profits are worth taking advantage of those who support them by purchasing their products (and they've even shown amnesty to those who were using pirated versions of their paid software).  If someone isn't happy with their purchase, they don't pull out contracts, end user agreements or massive documents written in legalese.  They assess the situation and do what's right for the customer, even if it technically isn't what they agreed to do.  The existence of these very forums, which are staffed by paid employees as well as generous volunteers, which offer 24 hour free technical support, even for visitors who don't use Malwarebytes products, including free expert assistance with the removal of threats from infected devices as well as help with pretty much any other technical issue, whether related to Malwarebytes software or just general system, hardware or software issues.

All of these things are because Malwarebytes as a company actually believes the things that they tell their users and customers.  They aren't just slogans used to try to sell products.

They have never and will never do things like sell customer information to third parties for profit or bundle toolbars or any other useless junk with their installers to make a buck off of their free users and they even go as far as alerting their users and customers when other vendors do (Malwarebytes is among the most aggressive in the industry when it comes to detecting PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs), which includes things like bundled installers and were among the first to take that stance, though many other vendors in the industry have followed suit having seen Malwarebytes success with it, though most remain far less aggressive than Malwarebytes Researchers are).

They are trying to accomplish something that for a long time has been very difficult, if not impossible in this industry.  They want to provide a truly comprehensive security solution at a low cost that is both fully capable of standing on its own to protect a system as well as retain compatibility with other products from third party security vendors to empower their customers to make their own decisions on how to protect their devices.  This again goes back to how Malwarebytes has chosen a different approach to protection.  They don't conflict because they don't use the same methods to detect and remove threats as other vendors, deliberately designing their software in such a way that it deliberately avoids checking items at the same time as other products so that a simultaneous detection is virtually impossible for their real-time protection components.

So to me, the use of the word "Awesome" in their consumer product (note that they do not and most likely will never use that wording in their professional/business products for the reasons you've stated who have posted here) is simply a reflection of their youth and attitude that makes them stand apart from most other vendors in the industry.  Also, at least from a UX (User Experience) perspective, they have done market testing on the UI and if they chose this wording, it means that it must have tested well.  I think personally that it is perhaps a little informal, but at the same time that word has become far less taboo in proper conversation than it was in decades past.  In fact, if you research the etymology of it you'll find this to be true and that the same thing happened with the word "awful" which is now considered completely acceptable in all forms of conversation in all circles, though in the early 20th century this was not the case and using it in any but the most severe of circumstances was considered improper (technically "awesome" itself is not an informal word, simply its use for anything that isn't truly "awe inspiring", thus it is this weaker meaning as when used to simply mean "good" or "excellent" as it is here in the Malwarebytes UI that is the point of contention here and what I mean by its more informal use as it does have its legitimate use in proper English as well).

As I said, I will submit your feedback to the Product team.  I just wanted to offer this information because I believe it's relevant to the subject at hand.  It doesn't mean that you are wrong or that the wording will not be changed.  That's not up to me so I cannot say, however I will let them know about your feedback.

Thanks guys, and if there's anything else you'd like to suggest or feedback you have for Malwarebytes 3 please don't hesitate to post, though I would ask that in the future that you please post it in the Comments and Suggestions area for Malwarebytes 3 located here only to ensure that it is not overlooked.  The company is always looking for user and customer input and ideas on ways to make their products better.

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In today's world people will complain about anything including stuff like this thread. Who cares ? not I.  Go pick on a program that does not work.

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One of the strengths of the English lanhuage is that it changes over time. And different countries can have their own versions. (No government committees to dictate what is 'the correct language').

Spiffing thread/conversation by the way.

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6 hours ago, KenW said:

In today's world people will complain about anything including stuff like this thread. Who cares ? not I.  Go pick on a program that does not work.

AGREED

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Come on guys, it's OK.  They're only providing their honest feedback and shouldn't be harped on for that.  I know you guys are just sticking up for them, but Malwarebytes desires the criticism, believe me, because that's one of the best ways for them to learn how to make their products even better than they already are.

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It is nothing to do with Malwarebytes team supporting the industry, bundling toolbars, having the right to a malware free existence or any of that. That is really irrelevant. As for the team being young, well that's fine but immaturity can show in language through the use of 'slang' or what forms the common vocabulary of the young at this moment. That does not make it sensible or relevant to use it in an international product that is distributed worldwide. When people buy malwarebytes they are not buying into the culture of the youthful team that created it, we are specifically purchasing an anti-malware tool that has been proven to work over a period of years. If I accept the "casual" language then by the same token am I expected to accept the pink baby unicorns with big doe-eyes that you might introduce as the theme for the next version of malwarebytes? Please think. We do not want software with slacks, a t-shirt and trainers. We don't want to know any of that. We are computer professionals and we expect you to be the same. We want you to have the same level of professionalism shown in your language as you show in your product. That language is written on the product and gives an impression of playful youthfulness and fun that I do not want to see in an anti malware product. I am really very surprised that this common sense approach is not immediately apparent to you now. I am struggling to understand why we even need this conversation if you understand marketing, your client base, logic and what constitutes a professional approach to your customers. Do you really think your clients expect you to use language like that as your main communication with the client and that is likely to inspire confidence?

The most annoying thing for me is that you are NOT my friends, you are a company and I don't want to be treated as if I am your best buddy. We have a contractual relationship based upon money and trust. I give you money as I trust you to come up with a trustworthy professional product. You write "awesome" on it.

Do you understand now?

 

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I understand what you're saying, and I actually agree with you.  I personally would not have chosen that wording within the UI of Malwarebytes, but I'm not in a position to make such decisions.  They have a UX team that does market testing with users and customers and conducts surveys and market research to determine the look and feel of the UI and the language to be used.  I was simply trying to explain how the culture of the company has shaped many aspects of how Malwarebytes presents themselves and their products to their customers.  I realize you view things differently and there's nothing wrong with that (as I said, I actually agree with you), but as I said, those other things I mentioned are all connected because the UX and Marketing teams are trying to tell a story and Malwarebytes has a very large user base of dedicated and enthusiastic customers who have connected with the company and this product in a very personal way.  It's the same reason they show robots on their website destroying what look like mechanical bugs (as a representation of Malwarebytes killing malware).  It's that whole sci-fi/comic book superhero thing and that too has become an aspect of this company's identity, but again, these aren't things that they would foist onto their business customers.

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Well this needs to be explained to them. Marketing is about identifying with your client base and not marketing what your current hobbies/trends are. Not on this type of product. The client base for malwarebytes are professionals that recommend an advanced tool  to clients. Frankly I am embarrassed by this promotion of their juvenile character and it does nothing but place a worrying nag in my mind as to the direction of this tool. It shows the immaturity of the marketing team that they think it is appropriate.

Forgive me for coming over as specifically aiming at you - I am not. I am aiming this specifically at the current culture that is coming out of the Malwarebytes team. If this is the marketing approach from this point onward then I suggest it paints a picture of dumbing down, of Malwarebytes becoming a lowest possible demoninator, not a tool to be taken seriously.

A Toys-R-Us of anti-malware solutions.  I am rather dismayed that they believe this is appropriate. I lose confidence, others must do the same.

Please bring it to their attention.

 

Edited by yereverluvinunclebert
Typo. correction.

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No offense taken at all, I hear you and I understand completely what you're saying.  Like I said, I was just trying to explain to some degree the reasoning they had behind this choice.  You are quite correct that many of their clients are as you describe, however, at least on the consumer side, I believe they're leaning much more towards the computer novices as well as the real geeky crowd (guys like me who tweak computers all day, play video games, read comic books etc.), but the question is, does catering to one crowd potentially have a negative impact on the perception of another?  In this case, I believe that it could, and clearly does as far as you guys are concerned.  If we flip it around, would a guy like me, a hardcore geek, or someone like my mother, a total computer novice, be turned off or confused by less informal wording?  No, I don't think we would.  Replacing "Awesome!" with the word "Good!", "Great!" or "Excellent!" would be just as clear, effective and without carrying the same potential for turning some users and customers off who aren't accustomed to such informal language in the UIs of the utilities they run.

I will share your feedback (already made myself a note to do so and included a link to this thread for their review and consideration) and I am certain that regardless of what their final decision is, they will at least listen and consider it.  I know this because I worked with these people for years, and while it may not always seem like it, they really do take customer feedback very seriously and they do listen.  It just comes down to which users they are listening to and catering to depending on the message they want to convey and the demographics they're targeting.  In this case, while it may be successful for some, it does carry a potential risk to offending others, and that's totally understandable and I know that's not what their goal was when settling on this wording.

Either way, I'll see to it that your voice is heard.  That's all I can do, but I am confident that they will hear it.

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Thankyou.

I just want them to understand that they seem immature and therefore unreliable. That is the impression they are giving. When you have surgery do you want to see geeks in sandals high-five-ing each other and shouting "awesome"?  No. Youth is not correspondent with reliability.

I want to believe that those people I PAY to protect my computer and those of my clients are thoughtful, sensible, considered professionals just like the surgeon that explores my colon...

Please point them to this thread and try to explain the logic of the situation. There is a school of thought that suggests that you should not always give marketing people a free reign as they can do damage to your image. Sometimes when the marketing people convince themselves they are right, a reality check is in order via a short, sharp smack around the chops. Exposure to this thread might be that smack if applied by someone with enough authority. Please give it to someone higher up the chain and see what they can do with it. 

It might really be the right thing to do for the company and its image.

Thank YOU for your help.

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Sure, that totally makes sense.  I think they have more of the perspective that as long as you're smarter than the competition and can prove it with your technology and its performance, especially when you're the (relatively speaking at least) new kid on the block and have a novel, innovative approach proven to be effective, that it raises the "cool factor" and they just want to express that in some small way.

That said, it's hard to argue with you because the fact of the matter is, your logic makes sense.

As I said, I can't make any promises, but they will hear this.  I will be submitting this to the Product Manager who is the individual responsible for the final say on pretty much anything related to the software, so if she agrees, then it will be changed.  That's where I go with all product feedback, to the PM team, because they are the ones who need to hear the ideas, feedback, input, and yes, even (and sometimes especially) criticism from the users and customers because they must weigh that in every decision they make for the product.

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Goodness me, how dreary the world is becoming. Does anyone remember the Easter eggs in MS software, or the pirate messages in Avast? They used to make me chuckle. I'm a semi-retired "computer professional", albeit of no great eminence, but "Awesome! You're protected." makes me smile, as does the "Awesome! No threats found." in the popup after a scheduled scan. I smile because the word is a trifle silly, but anything that makes me smile gets my vote! My point is, people have different opinions and reactions. Malwarebytes can't please everyone. I wouldn't make a fuss if they obliterated "Awsome!", but a little bit of humour would vanish from my day.

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