Tag Archives: UX

Typesetting In Between the Letters

Long before I learned to program — and long before the World-Wide Web was even a gleam in Tim Berners-Lee’s eye — I was introduced to typography by Douglas R. Hofstadter’s Metamagical Themas. In his chapter “Variations on a Theme as the Crux of Creativity”, Hofstadter presents a full-page figure that shows 56 different versions of the […]

How Many Ways Is Your Imitation Scrollbar Broken?

If you’re going to reinvent the wheel, you should at least make sure your new version is somehow better than the previous kind. Reimplementing standard UI and OS widgets is one of the most common ways developers reinvent the wheel these days — it started with Flash developers building their own controls, and has now spread […]

The Evolution of WordPress

For backward-compatibility testing, I’ve just installed a few versions of WordPress ranging back to version 2.0. It’s kind of fascinating to see a sort of fast-rewind retrospective of the software. Even just looking at the installation experience, it’s like watching HAL 9000 descend into childish incoherence as Dave Bowman yanks his memory chips. By the time you […]

OpenOffice Writer UX Warts

The more I play with OpenOffice.org’s Writer, the more confused I am by some of the odd UI/UX warts in it. Here are the ones that are on my mind this morning: When I press F11 to bring up the Style Picker list, why does typing letters not navigate me through that list? Why do […]

A Chat With Palm Tech Support

We’ll see if anything useful comes of this… I wasn’t too happy with the rep’s cluefulness at 2:55, I must admit. 2:50 PM Connecting to Rescue Gateway: control.app51.logmeinrescue.com… 2:50 PM Connected to Rescue Gateway. A support representative will be with you shortly. 2:51 PM Support session established with Kade. 2:51 PM Kade: Hello. 2:51 PM […]

A webOS 1.2 Upgrade Experience That Couldn’t Be Much Worse

The following is a copy of what I just posted on the Palm Prē forums: I woke up this morning to find that the webOS 1.2 upgrade had been pushed to my Prē automatically. I was happy, until the reboot finished and I saw: Signed Out You are no longer signed in to your Palm […]

A World Where People Regularly Discard Knowledge After 9 Years

In his latest entry on Coding Horror, “Windows 7: The Best Vista Service Pack Ever”, Jeff Atwood says: I want the world to get the hell off Windows XP. A world where people regularly use 9 year old operating systems is not a healthy computing ecosystem. I find this terribly, painfully wrong. The unintended consequence […]

Thoughts on the Palm Prē: Category Catastrophe

Note, Added A Few Days Later: This post does not tell the whole story. This is a wail of anguish, and is not intended to be balanced. For a more balanced look at the Palm Prē, read my later, and broader, evaluation of it as well as this post. There are a lot of good […]

Cruel Rollover Trickery

I found an interesting UI problem today, on a site that I will be kind enough not to actually link to. Instead, I’ll just reproduce the general concept and problem here: alpha beta gamma delta The links all just link straight to the nav bar itself, so if you scroll your browser view so that […]

Don’t Waste My Time With Email Confirmation Fields

I just ran into yet another form on a web page that looked like this: First Name Last Name Email Address Confirm Email Address Address Line 1 … and so on These things drive me nuts. Once I’ve typed my email address in the first time, I just type Shift-Home to highlight the entire field, […]