Web Site Knocks Interface Blunders

 
 
By Timothy Dyck  |  Posted 2002-05-13 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Interface Hall of Shame, at www.iarchitect.com/mshame.htm, is a roll call of the moronic things programmers and designers have inflicted on users.

Its something that unites all computer users—the moment when your software stops you cold with messages that dont make sense, windows that extend off the screen or buttons that dont seem to do anything.

The Interface Hall of Shame, at www.iarchitect.com/mshame.htm, is a roll call of the moronic things programmers and designers have inflicted on users. In-house developers should take note of the many ways error messages can leave users worse off than before and how graphical metaphors can fail miserably.

I ran into a notable gaffe in the search feature of Macromedias Dreamweaver MX. Its interface is generally effective, but this window left me scratching my head. The control is intended to let the user select a directory to be searched. I had to use this misappropriated file selection dialog box to navigate to the right folder, make sure nothing was selected, then click the Select button. A directory tree where a single directory is highlighted would be a better design choice.

 
 
 
 
Timothy Dyck is a Senior Analyst with eWEEK Labs. He has been testing and reviewing application server, database and middleware products and technologies for eWEEK since 1996. Prior to joining eWEEK, he worked at the LAN and WAN network operations center for a large telecommunications firm, in operating systems and development tools technical marketing for a large software company and in the IT department at a government agency. He has an honors bachelors degree of mathematics in computer science from the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, and a masters of arts degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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