Bad Design

Why today’s voicemail systems are worse than 1980s answering machines

It’s funny to think about how big a step back voicemail took when it moved from desktop answering machines to mobile phones. Image credit: Hold all my calls by Furryscaly Back in the 1980s, if you didn’t get to the … Continue reading

Email verification – is your call-to-action strong enough?

Email verification is often needed as a step in user registration. It plays the role of an identity check – to confirm that the person registering genuinely owns the email address given. If you run a site that uses email … Continue reading

The email confirmation / paste disabling antipattern

Here’s a nice antipattern from the Odeon (UK), who show us how to annoy 99.9% of users in an effort to help the 0.1% who enter their email addresses incorrectly. So, here I am registering on… Oh look, I … Continue reading

The Sinclair C5 Story

This lovely image from a recent Erskine Labs blog post reminded me of the charmingly tragic story of the Sinclair C5. Spurred on by his immense success in the computing industry with the ZX80, ZX81 and ZX spectrum, Clive Sinclair … Continue reading

The importance of setting accurate expectations

Using a feedreader and can’t see the video? This post is all about the importance setting accurate expectations. One of my friends, Ofer Deshe, often uses this clip when running UX training workshops. What a great way of summing it … Continue reading

A quick lesson on how not to design your calls to action

Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg pack a lot of theory about the psychology of persuasion into the concept of a “call-to-action”, but at its simplest, a call-to-action is the area on a page that sums up its main purpose or goal … Continue reading

Windows 7 Launch Party screener survey: how not to create that party experience

Did you know, your Windows 7 launch party can be totally informal? you’re allowed to do the mandated party “Activities” (note ominous capitalisation) in any order you choose! If it were a joke, it’d be funny. This bizarrely clumsy attempt … Continue reading

BSOD Error Reporting: boost the error reporting user experience of your websites.

Intended for web developers with an intermediate to advanced knowledge of XHTML, CSS, Javascript and Windows 95, the script BSOD.js provides an easy-to-use class to boost the error reporting user experience of your websites. Made by Guillermo Rauch of Devthought. … Continue reading

The unsubscribe roach motel: an email subscription anti-pattern

For those of you who don’t know the US cultural reference, the Roach Motel is a cockroach trap. Essentially just a small cardboard box with sticky paper inside, Roach Motels were made famous by Muhammad Ali, who at the tail … Continue reading

Diebold touchscreen Voting machine – not fit for purpose?

If you’re like me, you may have read about the usability problems with the Diebold touchscreen voting machines in the States. Before I saw this video, I didn’t realise quite how serious the problems are. It’s not a question of … Continue reading