Unintended(?) reference.

Bring out the gimp.

Bring out the gimp.

Not sure if the designers of this toy watched Pulp Fiction, but both my wife and I remembered this scene immediately.

P.S. Is it me or have they started all this Halloween crap a couple of weeks earlier this year than usual?

I want neither!

After 26 days?! Eat them yourselves.

After 26 days?! Eat them yourselves.

Saw an ad on TV the other day for some sort of a food storage thing, called “Greenbags”. The ad showed two heads of cabbage: one was stored in one of these “Greenbags”, another – in a regular bag. After 26 days the one in a regular bag was all rotten, but the other one looked quite green. The announcer asks, “So which one you want?”. Well, I might be a snob but I really want neither of them. Even if it looks fresh, I’d rather go and buy an actually fresh one – just like I did today. A wonderful invention called “farmers market” makes it really easy to obtain fresh fruit and vegetables.

UI design is supposed to improve with time.

No “design fail” type blog would be complete without some good old Vista bashing. So here’s some:

Two clicks instead of one.

Two clicks instead of one.

If you try to copy several files over some existing files, all previous Windows versions would ask you whether you want to overwrite file1 and would provide you with choices: “yes”, “yes to all”, “no”, “cancel”, so if I want to overwrite all files (which is the most common situation), I’d just click “yes to all” and be done with it. In Vista I have to first go to the very bottom of the huge dialog and check “do this for the next N conflicts” and then click “Copy and Replace”.

Clearly, this “do this for the next N conflicts” thing provides an extra useful feature – that is, rename files instead of overwriting. Cramming the same thing into the previous style dialogs would be unrealistic: the dialogs would have to have 6 buttons: “yes”, “yes to all”, “rename this”, “rename all”, “no”, “cancel”. Too much, I agree, but then again, how often do I have to rename the files, especially in the stupid default manner, like “file1(2)”? If I want to keep the files I’d rather move them to another folder, so the copy dialog could have had this new feature accessible through extra clicks, keeping the most common functionality in 1 click. For example, they could just have a “show advanced options” button and add their renaming schtick there. Moreover, that would give an opportunity to provide fancier renaming options, not just append a (2) to the file name, but something brutally powerful, based on regular-expressions.

Or I guess that’s too much to ask 😐

A Physically Handicapped Cat as a Creamer

Here is another sample of “made in china” brutal tableware creativity: a physically handicapped cat with tear off paw to serve you as a creamer.

Physically handicapped Cat as a Creamer

Physically handicapped Cat as a Creamer

Design Fail factor: 9 (out of 10)

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Interface design fail: flashy, but useless

This is a control panel for the portable AC unit I got this summer. Note the colored bars on both sides of the fan: I guess originally they were meant to indicate the fan speed, green for slow, yellow for medium, red for fast. But alas, somewhere in the design chain somebody has decided that it would be a shame for the user not to see the colorful red and yellow bars if the fan speed is set to slow, so instead the bars just cycle through all colors, no matter what the fan speed is. There’s no way to gauge the fan speed: the only thing that changes is how fast the little indicator fan rotates, but it is way harder to read than the colored bars could be!

Or perhaps there is a “brand name” AC that uses this same indicator panel, with proper use of the color bars, and I got a semi-legal knock-off, the makers of which are too much into flashy things.

Just Say Yes!

Just Say Yes!

Just Say Yes!

This Usability Fail exhibit found at one of San Francisco Bay Area supermarkets. Looks like the store runs out of cash to order “big-red-YES-button” device and make themselves and customers happy campers.

Or may be their customers are just simply dumb.


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OMG we’re so influential!

Less than a month ago we’ve complained about how unfriendly the Internet Explorer start page was. And behold:

Much better, but still no cigar.

Much better, but still no cigar.

This one is somewhat better, at least it give me an obvious direction what to do. It doesn’t address the most important problem, however: why on Earth I even have to think about a choice. Just gimme the search box, dammit!