I spend a lot of time using various computers as well as an iPad, iPhone and Apple Watch. Given the modern computer interface has been in development for over 30 years you’d think developers and designers would be pretty good at avoiding useless screens and poorly designed controls. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. I’m going to mention a couple that I keep bumping into but I’d love to hear from you about your user interface fails.
The first one I have is with the Facebook app. If you open a link to a webpage, there’s a button at the top left of the screen that returns you to the main Facebook feed. But, if you’ve clicked a link in the article, a “Back” button is activated adjacent to the exit button.
Trouble is, the two buttons look very alike and it’s easy to press the exit button when all you meant to do was go back a page.
One of the core features on the Apple Watch is activity tracking. Rather than the usual step tracking we see with most trackers, Apple focuses on three measures; active calories, active time and standing time. Each is represented by a ring.
When you open the Activity page to look at your progress, there’s an option to swipe to a second page. But that page is useless. All it does is display a message telling you that if you want to start an activity that you need to launch the activity app.
How hard would it be for Apple to make that page functional? They could even open it to developers to add their own exercise apps. Or, just get rid of the page as it does nothing of value.
Only a little responsive
It’s 2018 people and it’s been about three years since mobile browsers became more widely used than desktops. While many websites have been redeveloped so that they work on almost any-sized display there are some exceptions – notably government agencies who can get away with being laggards as they aren’t in competitive environments.
But my real frustration comes from sites that are responsive but a few pages remain static and don’t scale correctly on my mobile devices. That suggests a lack of testing of all pages or some sort of coding issue where the right stylesheet isn’t being applied.
What are some of your pet interface hates. Is there an app you use that has an annoying quirk? Vent away in the comments.