Affordances Everywhere (or Not)

I just finished Don’t Make Me Think (more articles on that later).  When you study web-site Usability, you notice more issues in real life.

I bought some things on sale at Safeway, and entered my phone number.  It happily took it.  Only later did I discover (luckily before paying) that it had not found my number, but it gave me no feedback on this.  Why should they?  If I hadn’t caught this, I would have been out an extra $5.

Harris Teeter is somewhat better.  If it can’t find my number, it lets me know.  However, it does not let me enter a different number again, and I have to back out of the entire thing and wait for the machine to reset.  That’s a bit silly.

On the Dulles Tollroad, if you go through without it registering your tag, it sounds a very loud alarm.  However, the Greenway does not and let’s you silently go through, only to mail you a letter days later requesting $50 per incident.  Guess who no longer uses the Dulles Greenway.

I will follow up on some of the remaining points from “Don’t Make Me Think” soon.  I just started reading “Practices of an Agile Developer”, and will offer some follow-up on that as well.  Stay tuned!


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