My coworkers and I are using an internal request site and we are trying to figure out the correct word, phrase, or expression for our feelings. The site, and it's instructions, are so obscure that it takes enough time to just completely turn you off to using it, almost to the point of disgust.

Is there a word or phrase that accurately represents this?

EDIT: Here is an example:

I go to some webpage, www.usethistool.com. It is a form for requesting new software to be installed on my machine. There is no button or link that says: "Order software here" instead there is a link that says "View Cart". Once you click that, there is another link that says, "Add to Cart". That brings you to a form with a few fields, but nowhere to attach files. After you click another "Add Cart" button at the bottom, you go to another page where you can add attachments. You continue this button clicking for a few more pages until finally it is "in your cart" and ready to be serviced.

The whole thing took an obscene amount of time and I would've much rather climbed up and down 5 flights of stair to go to different offices, if need be. The experience left us confused, unclear, and border-line afraid to use it again.

  • Can you give an example? Without more context, the best word that pops into my head is arcane.
    – Nick2253
    Dec 4, 2014 at 16:13
  • Maybe off-putting:provoking uneasiness, dislike, annoyance, or repugnance. Also 'intricate': solvable or comprehensible only with painstaking effort.
    – user66974
    Dec 4, 2014 at 16:15
  • 3
    – ermanen
    Dec 4, 2014 at 16:17
  • I like repugnance, but it borders to much on a feeling of upheaval instead of disdain. Additionally, I need to capture that thought of obscurity being the driving force. Dec 4, 2014 at 16:32
  • Are you looking for an adjective to describe the software, a noun to refer to it by, the feeling it instils in you, or something else entirely? Dec 4, 2014 at 17:31

4 Answers 4


byzantine can be used to describe processes that are convoluted, complicated and seemingly without logic.

Ordering software was such a byzantine process that I'm not sure I could successfully repeat it.

  • I'm really liking this one, let me see if anything else pops up before I confirm it. Dec 4, 2014 at 18:34
  • @JasonWilczak: glad you like it. rigmarole is an nice noun for the same kind of thing, if you need one.
    – dnagirl
    Dec 4, 2014 at 18:39
  • Thanks @dnagirl, I feel like byzantine is just the word for this! Dec 4, 2014 at 19:59

time-consuming ,adj.- of a task that takes time and patience - wasteful of time

A relatively great or greater than average duration or passage of time or a duration as specified


  • Resolving complaints through the legal system is so costly and time-consuming that most people do not bother
  • After fermenting the beans—a time-consuming step that chocolate producers often skip—Toth and his partners dry, roast, de-shell and grind each batch by hand.

You could describe such a process as "Overly-convoluted", although this might not get across the point of not wanting to do it again, or to the point of disgust:

extremely complex and difficult to follow

In context you could say something along the lines of:

I didn't install the software as the process was horrendously convoluted.


discouraging (adj) - depriving of confidence or hope or enthusiasm and hence often deterring action. TFD

Researchers were discouraged by the problem's magnitude

  • This fits part of the bill but it doesn't reign in the fact that it is discouraging because of its obscurity. Dec 4, 2014 at 16:32
  • @JasonWilczak It's the best I could come up with.
    – Centaurus
    Dec 4, 2014 at 16:35
  • I agree, discouraging is probably the right choice here. Let me see if anything else comes up, or I'll take this one. Dec 4, 2014 at 16:39

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