Category Archives: Software Interfaces

Usability and Design concerning software User Interfaces

7 Ways to Annoy Your Users

Your users will probably mess things up. Some are just down right stupid. Don’t trust anything they say, it is probably a mistake. The best way to deal with this sort problem is to ask them lots of questions, even when it’s obvious they meant to do what they just did. Are you sure you [...]

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Juggling, Usability and Features

I love watching people who obviously don’t know much about computers. They are wonderfully pragmatic, and will find the simplest path – even if it isn’t the optimal choice. The other day on the train I saw a guy using Notepad to write a report (his hunt & peck typing gave him away too!). Notepad [...]

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Why Google’s Chrome Browser Tabs get it spot on

Google’s Chrome Web browser was released to much fanfare last week. One of the touted features was their redesign of the tabbed interface. They got it spot on, it’s exactly how it should be.
Here’s how Apple do it in Safari (click to enlarge):

Here’s how it’s done in Firefox (click to enlarge):

And here’s it done [...]

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iPlayer on Virgin Media Cable

Usability Friction reader Nick Wright emailed this week to tell me about the frustrating design of the BBC iPlayer on his Virgin Media Cable TV set top box.
The Virgin set top box has a common look and feel throughout the user interface which makes the system feel nice and unified. However, the BBC decided that [...]

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Hollywood Studios Encourage Piracy

Don’t steal this car!
Imagine you’ve just bought yourself a new car, let’s say it’s a Volkswagen. You’re excited; you’ve been looking forward to this moment since you first saw the advert. You get in, and turn the ignition.
Over the car speakers a stern voice starts speaking:
“Have you stolen this car? Stealing cars is a crime [...]

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How am I supposed to know I can tilt the iPhone?!

A good friend of mine told me that he was showing off his new iPhone to his dad over the weekend. Obviously, his dad loved it; but when he showed him how you can tilt the phone over and get the cover art for albums his dad said:
“How do I know to do that?”
It’s a [...]

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Cash Machine/ATM Staring Contest

Cash Machines (or ATMs if you prefer) are a big part of daily life. They have pretty much replaced going into banks for drawing out cash. Many of them are located in high traffic areas such as shopping malls, train stations and airports. The busiest always have a queue of people waiting at them. So, [...]

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