A copy of the post is archived below. If you want to comment about the article, you can do so at the UsabilityBlog.
How fast things change. I wanted to write about a workflow in LinkedIn, which had annoyed me for months, but they have fixed it in the meantime, before I could publish the article.
So anyhow, here is the article:
One of the most used functions in Linkedin is to add a new user to your own network. If you don't know the e-mail address of the person or other personal information you can choose "I don't know xy".
Then the user can enter a personal message and click the "Send Invitation" button. Which opens the following message:
The only way to proceed is to click "Go back to xy's profile". The personal message is lost! You stepped into the Linkedin user trap.
Of course, according to the Linkedin policy you're supposed to add only contacts you personally know, but since you can bypass this rule anyhow by selecting "Friend", it's illusory to educate the user by punishing him to re-enter a personal message.
There are two solutions to avoid this unpleasant interaction:
- A "Close"-Button instead of a "Go back to xy's profile"-button
- Pop up the message immediately, when the user selects "I don't know xy", instead of giving him the feeling, that he now can enter a personal message for that person.
As we can see, they solved it with a "close" link.
Thanks to the host of the UsabilityBlog Paul Sherman for letting me do that guest post!
A copy of the post is archived below. If you want to make comments about the post, you can do them at the UsabilityBlog.
Wrong Assumptions, Sony Ericsson PC Suite
Every time I connected my Sony Ericsson phone to my Windows PC, I got reminded of an annoying feature of Sony Ericssons PC Suite: The time checker, that checks if the time of the cell phone is the same as the time of the PC (see picture below).
Every time it popped up and asked me, if I wanted to change the time of my cell phone. The program assumed, that the time of the PC was always correct, but the opposite was the case: The cell phone time was correct, but the time of Windows was wrong. So I always had to select "No". The funny thing is: "Yes" had the addition "Every time I connect. Do not show this message again", but "No" didn't have such a checkbox.
Only about 30 seconds difference, but PC Suite sees immediate need for action...
What to learn from this mistake
Make the right assumptions. Here it was assumed that the time of Windows is always correct, which may not always be the case.
Give the user the possibility to disable an unwanted feature. Especially if it is an annoying pop-up window
Note: The current Version of PC Suite is Version 3. This discussed time-checker-feature was implemented until Version 2. Nevertheless, it's a good example for bad usability.
There are websites which can only be reached by using the "www" in the url. When having an ordinary website hosting package, it's normal to have that redirection to the www-adress, but there are some major brands, where the redirection doesn't work.
For example: Swisscom Mobile. The biggest mobile phone service provider in Switzerland still doesn't redirect users from http://swisscom-mobile.com to http://www.swisscom-mobile.com (interestingly for http://swisscom-mobile.ch it works). I already informed them about that failure some months ago, but they haven't reacted.
That's a small usability-failure, but nevertheless it's bothersome if you are used to write urls withouth the "www" in front.
Another website that doesn't work without the www in front is the website of the University of Zurich. Well, http://uzh.ch/ works, but if you have a subdomain included it doesn't work. (e.g. http://ifi.uzh.ch). I heard that's because http://ifi.uzh.ch is used for the intranet)
Question: Do you know any important websites that don't work without www in front?