Monday, May 19, 2003

Bad UI Design: "What does EWK mean?"
I went to the movies this weekend and decided to use the automated machines instead of standing in line. Normally, we go to the theater when it is not crowded, so it's easier just to walk up to the counter. So, it's been a long time since we've used the automated machines. Well, the first thing I notice is the user interface has changed! Wow, it looked really nice and seemed pretty intuitive. Now, there were some minor annoyances (buttons laid out not where you expect them, etc), but then I got to the buy tickets screen. I had two options buy a "EWK" ticket or "SDKD" (or something like that) ticket. WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT MEAN? So, I look at the tickets prices and it became clear which one to pick because one was half of the other. But, still I was bothered with the encrypted ticket types that were obviously movie theather speak. How was I suppossed to know what it meant? I consider this a horrible GUI design and all of the asthetics in the world did not help it. It made my experience less than desirable. Now, I'm a computer person, how do people who aren't feel? And we as an industry wonder why people hate computers or view them as a necessary evil! Maybe if we spent more time on making a good user experience and less on flash, we lose the stigma of computers being unusable. Oh well, one can dream....=)

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