Archive for October, 2007

How many times have you looked at a shirt, sweater, or other piece of clothing in your closet, and wanted to buy another one just like it? For most of us, the answer is probably “at least once”. But since the typical garment lacks any kind of part number, it can be pretty challenging to […]

There are many ways to create printer-friendly versions of a web page. I’m partial to the CSS approach, but that’s beside the point. What I really want to discuss is the logic (or lack thereof) that companies use when deciding which pages on a site will have a printable view available, and which ones have […]

Upgrading any piece of software can be complex, whether it’s a web-based application, desktop software, or an entire operating system. Most products do a pretty good job of remembering your settings and reminding you to make a backup first. But they tend to omit a very important step: Letting the user save a full list […]

I’m really sick of websites that make it impossible to figure out the company’s phone number, office address, and other contact info. And I’m not even talking about sites that intentionally hide this data, like some shady online stores tend to do. Rather, my ire is directed towards those sites that have all the info […]

Alright, I admit it: My sense of direction in airports just plain stinks. But bad signage certainly doesn’t help the matter. I actually saw an article about how airports are bringing in signage consultants to fix their signs, which sounds like a step in the right direction. Since I won’t be holding my breath for […]

I’ve often wondered how some companies can offer a lifetime warranty on a product that doesn’t cost that much. It would seem like the expense of handling those warranty claims over time could easily exceed the value of the product. For instance, I have a pair of hiking socks that cost $18. After about six […]

I reported a power outage for one of our offices last night. The utility company has an online form for doing this. Although the info they ask for is very basic (zip code and phone number), it took me three tries to get it right. Why? Because every time I tried to go to the […]

Yes or No


I bought movie tickets from one of those automated ticketing kiosks last weekend. While the user interface certainly won’t win any design awards, it seems pretty functional. But one screen always sticks out to me: the part where it asks you to swipe your loyalty card. This would be fine, except I don’t have such […]

For the second day in a row, I’m going to talk about product packaging. Today’s question: Why aren’t more packages resealable? I’ve seen this feature on raisins, cheese, and other small items (both perishable and non-perishable), but never on bigger things like bags of pretzels or tortilla chips. Working on the assumption that the CPG […]

Virtually every box of cereal, crackers, and other packaged foods has some sort of disclaimer that the box might not be “full” when you open it. Why? The contents may have “shifted” or “settled” during shipping. But since these items are sold by weight and not volume, the story goes, we as consumers shouldn’t concern […]