The details of (bad) design…

Scott Adams (the Dilbert dude!) put up a post recently on Bad Interfaces.  He starts innocently enough:

The other day I tried to change my address through a company’s web site and it wouldn’t accept my new address because I “already have a phone number.” WTF??? I tried various workarounds including no phone number, and a fake phone number, but it insisted that once you have a phone number, and the system knows it, you can never change your address. So I asked myself, am I the first person who ever owned a phone and wanted to change his address?

Then he continues talking about all the dumb designs in his new house:

Our new light switches have light indicators to tell you when a switch is turned off. That’s right: The “on” light indicates that the switch is off. At least that’s how my brain has interpreted it nine hundred times in a row. I understand that they want to make it easy to find the switch in the dark. But did they ever test how people use these things?

Now I agree with the address change.  I’ve moved many times and kept the same phone number.  But I’d challenge Scott on the light switch thing.

He asked if they ever test the use of these things?  Well maybe, maybe not.  I bet what they did do, is test if people brought them or not!

So Scott I’d ask you this:  How did these get installed in your home?  What was the process there?

(I’m not picking on Scott here.)  Take mobile phones.  Personally I used to be very pro Nokia.  I once switched  to an LG and hated it.  Then along came the N95!

A great phone with lot’s of positive reviews – but the thing was just too cumbersome to use!  Features like GPS or Camera or some applications are great, but if it takes me 6 – 10 button clicks then its too hard and I loose interest!

Its interesting how some people feel it is absolutely necessary to choose visual detail like the right carpets, tiles, bathroom fittings, but will neglect some of the more cerebral elements.

Why is the iPhone so popular?  Why do people love Dorf Taps in their bathroom?

If this type of thing is pushing your buttons, then perhaps you should take a look at what you like and why?  What don’t you like and why?

Rock on!