Archive for the ‘Usability’ Category

While trying to schedule an event online, I noticed something funny. There’s an optional feature to have the website remind you before the event, which I sometimes use for a 5 or 10 minute heads-up. But as I was scrolling through the choices, I noticed they switch arbitrarily between measures. After “9 hours,” “10 hours,” […]


I know I complain about salesforce.com a lot. Although it’s a solid product, I really wish they would pay more attention to some of the more mundane tasks, like adding and deleting users. My latest grievance: if you create a new user and the user has started using the site, you can never delete that […]


While looking through restaurant reviews on the Yelp Mobile site, I noticed that they only show you a little snippet of each one. To read the rest, you have to click on a link and wait for another page to load. Granted, this approach lets you see the first part of many reviews at once, […]


There are many great articles (and even whole books) about how to design data entry forms. Despite this wide body of knowledge, the basic rules still seem to elude a lot of web designers. In particular, designers are still creating input fields that are too short to fit the data that customers typically enter. Actually, […]


I don’t know who had the brilliant idea to use automated phone calls to verify certain online transactions. In my experience, computers aren’t very good at making phone calls, and these transactions have a high failure rate. Among other things, the systems rarely let you enter an extension to dial, and they don’t warn you […]


Network printers are great. You plug them in, give them an IP address, and everyone in your home or office can print to them. Plus, they’re quite affordable these days. But one thing drives me crazy: Network printers that have no screen, making it incredibly difficult to set them up. Nearly all the brands are […]


Lately, I’ve noticed that more and more websites are offering a search feature. This should come as no surprise: the tools for site search are widely available and fairly inexpensive. Google and other search engines even offer a free search box you can customize and place on your site. It’s easy to see how search […]


I got a little message from salesforce.com last night. Well, not very little at all. You see, it took them over 700 words to explain how to use the new login process, designed to keep users from having their login information stolen. I’ve never found them to be very concise in their communication with customers, […]


I hate it when I have to do or say the same thing twice. With people, it’s forgiveable — we tend to misplace and forget things from time to time. But with software, I expect the data I enter to be kept on hand unless I purposely delete it. With this in mind, I just […]


Right by the signal strength indicator on my Blackberry, there’s a little readout that says things like “EDGE”, “GSM”, etc. The basic idea is that you can see what sort of coverage you have, since EDGE provides faster speeds than GSM/GPRS. But here’s where it gets stupid: when the letters appear in lowercase (e.g. “edge”), […]