Duncan writes about punitive UI, and I totally agree. I've always been a big fan of Design and interaction. Tha's why some things just toally annoy me that other people don't even notice:
- Why should I have to press a key on my cellphone for 3 seconds for the phone to lock itself? And why should I press that same hey for 3 seconds again to unlock? Nokia did it right by making you press 2 buttons in sequence, thus avoiding both "accidents" and giving you instant gratification by unlocking the moment you press those keys. When I had my nokia I pressed them pretty quick, but in my samsung this totally annoys me....
- Sometimes on dialog boxes(especially in MSFT's office) you have to answer "yes" or "no". Funny thing is that sometimes, in order to move between those yes/no buttons you have to press the left arrow key and sometimes the right. It changes. Users need a consistent interface behavior!
- Some blog headlines, when clicked, take you to the actual post(most do), but some take you to a totally different site. This may do wonders for the shortness of the post, but for most users this is confusing. Consistency please! That's why (I think) post .NetWebloggers choose to ignore the fact that they can make their post title link to another place.
- Some tabbed browsers , when you press "CTRL+TAB" jump to the next tab(like opera) but some(like netCaptor) jump to the previous one. ugh. consistency...
- When Installing Visual studio 6, you get a msgbox at the end asking "would you like to restart your computer?" which proceeds to totally ignore your answer and restart your computer anyway...
- Copying a Cell or a cell group in Excel only works One time! Once you paste it, you've lost it forever. I'm sure there's a good reason, but it totally sucks. Consistency between your own office application is a must!
- Some doors have "pull" designed handles on the outside, even though you have to push or slide them sideways to get through. How screwed up is that?
- My Car alarm does not make any beeping sounds when I turn it on. I keep forgetting whether I even turned it on when I got out. Sounds are an interface as well. Just think of your phone line as a kind of audio interface made of beeps.
What do all these things have in common?
User interface is not just a software related concept. It's a human concept. It just applies to software as well..