We’ll be looking at a lot of UX issues here on the UX Daily over the coming months and more importantly we’ll be looking at how to fix them too. We start today with 5 bugbears that really ought to be incredibly easy to eliminate.
I Don’t Like Spiders
Seriously, I hate spiders. I am an arachnophobe extraordinaire. They freak me out. I don’t want to see them ever. Yet, I am also incredibly nervous about blocking their images from my Facebook feed. Why? Because their reporting sucks.
If I block the post, Facebook then asks me why. It never gives me an option to say; “because I hate spiders” instead it asks me if my friend is a racist, a terrorist or just a total tool. Reporting on websites and applications shouldn’t make me feel like I’ve become a member of the Stasi; it should allow me to say “just this post because I’m a little odd, the person who posted this – is just fine, thank you for asking” but it doesn’t.
The problem here is that reporting should be easy (it is on Facebook but often isn’t on other websites) and it should be meaningful (it isn’t on Facebook). This is a cheap and easy to fix issue.
I Don’t Like Puzzles
If you want me to fill in a form then for the love of all that is Holy; please tell me what you want from me. I don’t want to get to the end of a form, push the shiny “submit” button and then have an error message send me back to fill in the form again… particularly if you’re going to delete all my data when you do so.
Use HTML 5.0 to give me some inline text hints as to what you want and for goodness’ sake never, ever delete all the data I just filled in when I get things wrong.
I am Not American (and Americans are Not Me)
I like Americans but I’m not one. When we write down a date in the United Kingdom we write; DD-MM-YYYY or 12-01-1974 that’s the 12th of January, 1974. In America they write MM-DD-YYYY or 01-12-1974 this does not compute for me. In China they write YYYY-MM-DD that’s 1974-01-12.
Author/Copyright holder: Das Prids. Copyright terms and licence: All rights reserved Img source
None of us are enemies but we’d all like to be able to fill our birthdays in without changing our passports too. Make it as easy as possible for me to complete your forms by accepting variations and use things like my IP address to make informed guesses on which variation I am most likely to prefer.
I am Simple
I am a simple fellow. I like sandwiches and beer. I also prefer to know the moment I have got something wrong, so I can fix it. It annoys me to be sent back to fix things later.
Author/Copyright holder: Unknown. Copyright terms and licence: Unknown Img source
You can use inline validation in forms to stop this kind of problem. If I leave the field and it’s incorrect – you can tell me so and then I can fix it. Don’t make me change everything after I feel like I’m done; it’s a drag.
How Much Farther Papa Smurf?
In the Smurfs TV program; the whole village of Smurfs would often go for an endless march through the forests in order to complete some spurious task or another. For most of the journey each Smurf would ask the head Smurf (Papa Smurf) “How much farther is it?” and he would reply; “Not far now.” even if this was total nonsense.
Author/Copyright holder: Comic Vine. Copyright terms and licence: All rights reserved Img source
I’m like a Smurf; I don’t want to feel like I’m walking forever in the woods or that I am about to spend the rest of my life filling in your registration process. So show me a progress counter (LinkedIn do this very well) and let me know how much farther I have to go.
Many UX issues are minor but when you add them up – they turn into major problems. All of the issues I address here are minor to fix but are incredibly annoying if they aren’t fixed.