Archive for April, 2009

Just as I was walking out the door of a museum on Saturday, a huge group of school children walked in. There had to be 50-60 of them, plus the inept chaperones. Since when do schools have field trips on the weekend? That mystery aside, I was very glad that I went to the museum […]

While making a routine purchase over the weekend, I noticed something rather confusing on the credit card terminal. After swiping my card, it asked me to sign for the purchase. But before I could take the attached stylus and sign in the box, I hit a roadblock. The screen said “Do not sign with pen.” […]

While passing through one of the Orange Line stations in downtown Chicago, I saw a billboard promoting the state of Montana. More specifically, the ad featured a striking mountain shot, a few words of text, and a web address. The last item caught my eye, with the URL The web address is short, which […]

My mom asked me to help with the camera on her new cell phone, and I figured it would be fairly straightforward. Well, I was partially right. Taking a picture was simple enough. But viewing the pictures you’ve already taken was baffling, and I couldn’t figure out what the option was called. After some trial-and-error, […]

It’s common practice to show a confirmation message once a customer completes a task. But what about when they abandon the task? Normally, no separate message is needed: if nothing changed, there’s little to report. But I think there’s one important exception: starting and then cancelling a high-stakes task. What do I mean by high-stakes? […]

So I’m watching last week’s episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and I get to a scene that looks like an obvious product placement. A character drives up in his shiny Mercedes, and the camera frames the front of the car right around the logo. However, the logo is gone: the familiar three-pointed star […]

Through pure luck, I recently discovered that one of our competitors is operating more than one website for essentially the same product of theirs. The positioning of the two websites is slightly different, but the product is the same. In fact, they even use a very similar name for the second “company”, which is little […]

If you live or work in a big city, you’ve surely encountered people who are paid to give out flyers or product samples to passers-by. But what amazes me about these street promoters is how much effort they waste on people who are the least likely to even look their way. Here are some signs […]

Whenever I have to spend time shredding stuff that a company sends me, it makes me a little more annoyed at them. Whether or not I have a business relationship with the brand, they’ve taken up my time by sending unwanted crap, or printing far too much detail on their statements and receipts. Here’s some […]

I know that I’m at least five years late to the whole podcasting thing. But given how long the medium has been around, I’m surprised that basic technical issues are still cropping up. And ironically, I’ve noticed these problems in user experience-focused podcasts — precisely the sort of people you would expect to get the […]