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I ran into a usability fail that has to exist from windows 3.1.
Windows arranges it’s icons/shortcuts/files on desktop column by column. But if you select them with SHIFT (multiple select), it selects them line by line .
If you arrange icons by type and you want to delete the pictures, you cannot do that by selecting them with SHIFT from first to last.
Since I use windows for ages and not realized this until now, i don’t think it bothers people, but still… interesting find.
Let’s take one dead simple thing we all use every day: the bathroom light switch. The majority of the houses (or am I wrong?) have this switch outside the bathroom, and if the door has no glass it’s kind of hard to see if the light is on or off in the bathroom.
Put on that piece of plastic some paint and you’ll have a perfectly usable switch:
For God’s sake, if you use it, please offer an alternative.
This the “add to playlist” Grooveshark system:
Very neat, clean. Unfortunately, if you don’t already know that’s how you do it, you have absolutely no hint to help you guess how you add a damn song to a damn playlist:
Yeah, i asked a fiend who found out from another friend of his. That’s not usability, Grooveshark.
I have update the “All in one seo pack” for wordpress and it insisted that i update the configuration page. I went and checked the page an this is what i have found:
It amazes me how awful is this form made, I think it’s deliberately made so you fuck up. Let’s see why:
1. the “Reset” option in on the right. (I’m not saying the submit must be on the right, but it’s the most common that way)
2. the “Reset” button is bigger and has the same design as the “Update” button. That and 1. makes it most likely to be pressed first
3. both buttons have the same design, hence they are equally important? i don’t think so, the call to action button must be the “update” button. Keep in mind that “Reset” is a destructive action.
4. what’s with the “>>” ? the arrows on the first button point to the second, which kindda’ makes the second the call to action, but the arrows on the second? there’s no extra step, there’s only a form.
A basic usability test (very cheap also) is logging remote on another person’s computer and watching him/her use the app/website/tool. It’s eye opening.
So I have seen my mother (who is not a computer savy person) hovering the page in search of buttons. When she searches things she doesn’t use the keyboard, she presses the “Search” button, and when that’s not available she gets confused. If the search field has an arrow image background on the right side, she tries to click that arrow and gets puzzled when nothing happens.
So, please use search buttons.
Oh, and please don’t name them “Go” or “>>” or stuff like that, name them “search”, and even put a magnifying glass on them.
DON’T put your form labels inside the inputs.
If i start writing into the input and i forget if i had to insert the username or the email address i have to delete everything, pray to god that the programmer made so the label appears again in the field once I click away, and after that complete the field again. It’s not nice.
Let’s face it! People use the same passwords on every site where they need an account. More exactly their email and computer login password You’ll be amazed how many of the users have only one password. It’s a bad thing but that’s how it is.
A while ago a friend of mine wrote on his blog about sites which demand a certain number of chars, demand to use both numbers and letters and even one of the weird signs on the number keys. Putting a maximum limit on the number of chars is plain stupid.
Please! don’t make users come up with a different password than they already use. Chances are they already use a password with more than 6 chars (due to restrictions allover the place). If you make the user invent a password with #$%^, he’s going to forget it. Then, he would have to recover/reset it – things that generates errors and frustration.
So PLEASE LEAVE PASSWORDS ALONEEE!!!111
I was reading an article on Useful Usability and opened all 15 links to save the PDF files on my computer. I don’t have the time to read them now but i hope to find some in the near future. (It’s basically like writing things on a CD, you’ll never insert that in the optical unit ever again ).
Anyway, I saved almost all of them in a directory on my computer. Looking at them later I realized many of them have names which don’t say anything about the content of the file, one of them is named “johnny.pdf”. The title of that particular article/study is “Why Johnny Can’t Encrypt: A Usability Evaluation of PGP 5.0″. While “johnny” is part of the title, left alone it doesn’t say anything about the usability evaluation in the file.
When dealing with files on the web, name them according to the content. You don’t know where they may end up, you want exposure after all, help that exposure with a content descriptive name.
Another important reason: SEO. It’s one thing when Google Bot crawls a picture of a blue book named “blue_book.jpg”, and another when it crawls “ds7d6s9ad99s9s76d6s.jpg”. Your picture will end up higher on the Google Images Index and generate you more traffic.
The main reason though, has to be the user. To a human being “ds7d6s9ad99s9s76d6s” doesn’t say anything about the content, “blue_book” does.
For huge applications dealing with many files it’s quite hard to avoid duplicates (that’s why developers use hash strings like “ds7d6s9ad99s9s76d6s”), take flickr.com for example, all their image names look like that. For the rest of the applications developers can use some kind of hybrid naming like “blue_book_7d7s8767.jpg”. It’s much better than to use only the hash string.