Tag Archives: usability

Mark Read

Bloglines has updated their UI again, on the beta site. One of the changes is that each posting now has this new “Mark Read” control on it:

When you click it, it turns from that grey color to a very pale blue color, indicating that it’s marked read.

In other words, if you have any color blindness, or if you are just not looking very closely, it looks like every article is already marked read on initial page load, and that when you click it to mark it unread, it doesn’t change at all.

Who thought that this was a good idea?

Microsoft DHCP and usability

Programming design lesson for today. Programmers should be forced to use the software that they design, in an actual real-world scenario, before it is released.

The only time I ever look at the lease list on a DHCP server is when I want to find one and add a reservation for it. So, you bring up a device, it acquires an address, and you wish to make that address permanent.

So, I go to the lease list, find the device, and look around for the “Add as a reservation” button, which doesn’t exist. Grr.

So I try to copy the MAC address, so that at least I can paste it in over in the “Add a reservation” dialog, which is in a separate part of the interface – and I can’t keep the one window up while I go over to the other one.

Nope, sorry, copy disabled in this interface.

So, I bring up a notepad and type in the address, then switch to the “add reservation” interface. Turns out I can’t copy from notepad and paste it into this interface. Paste is disabled here. Grr.

So I type it in. It tells me that the format is invalid. Turns out that the MAC address format in the one interface – with colons – is invalid here. I have to enter it without colons.

So, I ask you, in what design meeting were such stupid decisions made, and have the people responsible been fired?

Sure, I know, you’ll tell me that it’s fixed in a later version. Perhaps in Vista? But, seriously, if these people had used their own product for even 10 minutes in a real environment, these kinds of issues would surely have been discovered. Or are they the kind of people who memorize their MAC address?