Whatever Happened to UI Affordances?

by @edent | # # # | 28 comments | Read ~30,655 times.
Default share panel with only a few options visible.

I am grumpy. As my very clever wife summarised, I hate when designers prioritise their æsthetic preferences over my usability needs. I tried sharing a website using Google Chrome for Android. I hit the share button, and a panel popped-up from the bottom of the screen. Hmmm. It didn't have the share destination that I…

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⩵ != ==

by @edent | # # # # # | 3 comments | Read ~371 times.
Lots of mechanical fingers typing on a complicated keyboard.

One of the frustrating things about computers is their limited input options. A "standard" PC keyboard only has about 100 keys. Sure, some have some bonus buttons for controlling the machine, but it is becoming clear that there simply aren't enough buttons to efficiently program computers. Most programming languages have the concept of relational operators.…

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Event Horizon's crappy UI

by @edent | # # | 3 comments | Read ~145 times.
A tablet computer.

Remember schlocky 1990s splatter film "Event Horizon"? No, me neither. But lockdown has us exhausting our supply of Sci-Fi movies, so we rewatched it. Anyway, I found some bugs! I'm a big fan of the Sci Fi Interfaces blog. It details the Human Computer Interaction design of the imagined future. It has primed me to…

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Proximity is a key indicator of function

by @edent | # # # | 2 comments
A bathroom sink. The taps are on the opposite site of the sink to the faucet

I walked into an unfamiliar toilet recently. You've probably done the same, looking around to find the stalls, work out whether the driers are near the sinks, if there's soap available. I was completely taken aback when I saw this monstrosity of a sink. It's well known that we Brits love our separate hot and…

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How should couples handle joint email addresses?

by @edent | # # # | 5 comments | Read ~4,661 times.
Terence and Liz in front of Lasers at emfcamp.

For years, my email address was registered with our electricity supplier. I got the monthly bills sent to me. My wife's email was used for the water supplier. This made sense when we were a young couple with separate finances - but now we're a smug an old married couple, with a joint bank account,…

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The "Make Everything Better" Button

by @edent | # # # | Read ~596 times.
A hand-drawn iPhone. In the middle is a single button which says "Make Everything Better".

Back when I used to help people design mobile phone apps, I would talk about the platonic ideal of an app. It's quite simple and effective. You press the button in the middle of your screen - and it makes everything better! You push that button and a taxi arrives, or a pizza is delivered,…

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A grumpy look at using a Yubico Neo NFC on Ubuntu & Android

by @edent | # # # # | 12 comments | Read ~4,896 times.
YubiKey Neo - a thumb sized USB device - on cardboard backing

Twenty One. I have 21 accounts which use Two-Factor Authentication. I use the Authy app to manage them all, but it is still a pain to scroll through and find the exact 2FA token I need. Encouraged by my friend Tom Morris's blog post, I picked up a YubiKey NEO for £50. It implements the…

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Doc Brown is a Crap UI Designer

by @edent | # # # # | Read ~829 times.

I'm incredibly disappointed with "Doctor" Emmett Brown. His forays into time-travel could have extremely profound consequences for the space/time continuum. Worse than that, his time machine has a crap user interface. In this clip from "Back To The Future" we get a brief glimpse at the controls for setting the destination date: Ok, we can…

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Sookie Stackhouse's Phone Has A Dreadful User Interface!

by @edent | # | Read ~234 times.

I love the TV Show True Blood. I really only watch it for the insightful social commentary and tasteful depictions of interspecies erotica. And the User Interface mistakes, obviously. During the recent episode "I Found You", the Jessica (the Vampire) places a phone call to Sookie (a sort of telepathic fairy... it doesn't really matter...)…

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Button, button, who's got the button?

by @edent | # # # # # # | 3 comments | Read ~334 times.

I love Android, I really do. I'm chuffed to bits with the Galaxy Nexus I won recently. I've had a dozen Android phones before that - stretching all the way back to the HTC Magic. But it's getting obvious that Android has a serious design problem - even with the gorgeous new "Holo" theme for…

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