Alexa leaks your private wishlists

by @edent | , , , | 8 comments | Read ~3,973 times.

People who access your list will see your recipient name. If you have an Alexa-enabled device, Alexa may alert you when there is a deal for items in your list. Notification Preferences.

This morning, my wife noticed that Alexa was insistently flashing its little blue lights. "Alexa... Notifications?" "You have one notification. An item on your wishlist has dropped in price. The … is now only £…" And that's how my wife found out what I planned to get her for her birthday! What happened to cause…

Whatever Happened to UI Affordances?

by @edent | , , | 28 comments | Read ~30,937 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…

How not to sort a list of countries

by @edent | , , | 5 comments | Read ~327 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…

Excel as a mapping tool

by @edent | , , | 7 comments | Read ~488 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.…

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

by @edent | , , | 4 comments | Read ~179 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…

Boring Is Beautiful

by @edent | , , | Read ~220 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…

I have 800 passwords

by @edent | , , , | 10 comments | Read ~8,256 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…

The "Make Everything Better" Button

by @edent | , , | Read ~612 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,…

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

by @edent | , , , | 12 comments | Read ~4,937 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…

Doc Brown is a Crap UI Designer

by @edent | , , , | Read ~832 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…