I think it’s time to air a few grievances on the UI/UX front. While I’m all about great usability and design, I’ve got to say –there has been more than one occasion when I’ve found myself wishing I could bash certain electronic devices against the wall. The instances vary. Sometimes I’m trying to figure out how to use a new app or I’m poking around a new website and have given up altogether. Other times, I’m helping a toddler doodle on an app designed for a toddler and find myself questioning my own intelligence as a grown human being. Whatever the case, I’ve got some complaints. There are a few too many repeat offenders on my list. I’ll share mine with you, maybe it will be cathartic enough to stop me from chucking all things with a power source out the second story window –no promises.
Attempting to distract me with bright colors and pictures. I hate to be the first to say it, but if it doesn’t work then it doesn’t work. No amount of bright blue flashing lights will take away from the fact that your app, website, software, etc. is absolutely impossible to maneuver around. Spend a little less time on the graphics and a little more time figuring out how your users are actually using your product.
If it’s made for a 2 year old, maybe you should have a 2 year old test it. Truly. If your target audience can’t use your product, then what is the point exactly? If your users can’t read yet, it’s probably not the best idea to try to explain with text. Once you’ve decided who your user group is, your design should be automatic to that specific user group. I say this again –if it’s made for a 2 year old, then a 2 year old should be able to use it. End of story.
There are universally understood graphics, navigation, orientation cues etc. for a reason – use them. Please stop trying to reinvent the stop sign. It’s red. It’s an octagon. We all know what it means. Don’t throw a blue triangle onto your site and expect me to know that it means “stop”. If I have to hover over the symbol and hope that text pops up to let me know how to decipher your hieroglyphics then you’ve lost me. Oh, and you’ve annoyed me.
Applications/Programs that are ‘minimized’ when you try to exit them and not closed. I swear sometimes I have to bulldoze the Great Wall of China to close these things… or click about 5 more buttons than I’d prefer… regardless, if I’m done with you, I’m done with you. Don’t be a stage five clinger Skype. If it’s meant to be, I’ll come back to you. Otherwise, you’ve got to set me free.
Lack of a contact us button or page. Why is it always the pages/apps/programs that we have problems with that are the most elusive on the planet? Is there a secret organization in this world that likes to irritate users and customers by feeding them bad experiences and then making themselves harder to get in touch with then the head of the CIA? Seriously, if I have a question or complaint how many hoops should I have to jump through? Give us your phone number! Sorry, but if you didn’t want to deal with customers contacting you (or complaining) you should have thought about that before you let your UI/UX go haywire. Something to consider.
Alright, now I want to hear your gripes, annoyances, and grievances. I know I didn’t cover all of them. Which ones exactly make you want to flush your tablet?