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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How not to sort a list of countries

by @edent | # # # | 5 comments | Read ~312 times.
A list of flags. Estonia, Spain, Finland, France, UK, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Ireland.

Being from the United Kingdom is hard sometimes. When scrolling through a list of countries, we might be found down the bottom as "UK" or near the top as "Great Britain". Occasionally someone files us under "England" - thus ignoring Wales, Scotland, NI etc. Once in a while, it'll be "The UK". Truly, no one…

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Excel as a mapping tool

by @edent | # # # | 7 comments | Read ~478 times.
System dialogue saying opening Hospital Map XLSX.

About a million years ago, my wife's work sent her on a training course optimistically titled "How To Use Excel As A Database." We were both horrified. Excel is a perfectly good spreadsheet program - but it is categorically not a database! OK, it has rows and columns which sorta look like a database table.…

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User Experience - don't send me a bill before I've used your service

by @edent | # # # | 4 comments | Read ~178 times.
A screen with annoying password requirements.

Long time readers will know I used to work in the mobile industry. I used to blog about all the crappy things that customers experienced. Well, I'm back, with a doozey! I decided to sign a new contract with Virgin Mobile. After a brief chat with customer services, I agreed a contract for two new…

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Boring Is Beautiful

by @edent | # # # | Read ~218 times.

I have a lot of smarthome gadgets - but my favourite is the Tado° Thermostat. I think it might be the most boring gadget I've ever used - and that's why I love it! We spend far too much time staring at our screens. We obsessively tend to our digital gardens and rarely spend the…

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I have 800 passwords

by @edent | # # # # | 10 comments | Read ~8,244 times.
Bitwarden vault showing 795 login details.

I've started using BitWarden - the open source password manager. As I've been binge-watching Marie Kondo, I thought it was about time that I deleted all the accounts that I no longer user. I got rid of dozens related to previous employers. I hope the passwords wouldn't work after I left but 🤷‍♂️. I scanned…

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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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Lollipop UI Inconsistencies Represents Google's Failure Of QA

by @edent | # # | 6 comments | Read ~4,366 times.

I don't get Google. I really don't. Some of my smartest friends work there - and yet, as an organisation, Google continually demonstrates an imbecilic attitude to quality. I've already shared some of my thoughts on Android 5.0 Lollipop - it's slow, buggy, and shows that Google either doesn't bother with testing, or simply doesn't…

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