Archive for September, 2008

I’ve noticed something funny about printer-friendly pages. Whether they’re created with separate templates or simply generated on the fly with CSS, they don’t always print very smoothly. In fact, some of them crash my browser every time. This raises the question: why aren’t these problems being caught in the testing process? Even if printable pages […]


Not too long ago, virtually every e-commerce site required you to register before making a purchase. Then, someone had the smart idea to allow “guest” transactions, so you could buy products or complete other tasks without fussing with the registration process. From what I understand, offering the guest option leads to happier customers and more […]


A few days ago, Amazon notified me that my recurring order had been “cancelled successfully”. However, I never asked them to cancel the order. What they were really trying to say was quite different: they stopped carrying the product. In an unrelated incident, my credit card company notified me that the extra card on my […]


One of my favorite blogs structures their articles around a recurring set of topics, sort of like how newspapers have certain columns that repeat on a weekly basis. The blog even incorporates the day of the week into their post titles, e.g. “Fun Facts Monday”. This works great from the reader’s point of view, since […]


– Why don’t clothing stores have an express line? – If a store only has baskets and no shopping carts, do people buy less each trip, but come back more often? – If giving out free bags costs money, why don’t more stores sell reusable ones with their name on them? I don’t have the […]


Last weekend, I was saddened to see that my favorite local park had been trashed for some idiotic wine tasting event. Even worse, the event organizers left all the tents, chairs, and detritus in place a full day after it ended. For anyone who saw this scene after the fact, it certainly didn’t create any […]


While in a store that isn’t exactly known for umbrellas, I saw a nice display with tons of different umbrella models. Sure enough, I needed a new umbrella, since my last one got bent in half by a crazy storm a few months ago. Anyways, I picked out the umbrella I wanted, and continued shopping […]


My laser printer goes nuts when you take out the paper tray to add more paper, beeping loudly for what seems like 30 seconds at a time. However, it doesn’t make any noise or even show a message on the display when the network cable gets unplugged. This is even more annoying when you think […]


I recently purchased some exercise clothes from Amazon. Nothing too fancy, just shorts and a shirt. Having used them once so far, I’m confident I made a good purchase and will be happy with the products. This makes me wonder: how can the retailer take better advantage of this to increase their sales? It’s common […]


While they certainly aren’t perfect from a usability standpoint, there are some interface elements that I really admire in household appliances. One of these is the “Add Minute” or “+30 Seconds” button that you find on most microwaves. The concept is so simple: if you’re warming something up and you realize it needs more time, […]