Sunday, June 29, 2008

Confusion and Patience

I find it interesting that, as a developer, I tend to have very low patience for poor user experience. I sometimes feel stupid if I fail to use a piece of technology, though these are often kiosk based applications like checking in at an airport.

Then conversely, it seems that some people go out of the way to make something more complicated. Earlier today I renewed my Arsenal membership. There are several levels of membership and several variations of each.

* Junior
* Red
* Silver
* Gold
* Platinum

I just want the cheap option is which priority booking for match tickets, now there are four payment options.

* Lite
* Lite DD
* Full
* Full DD

I couldn't find the difference between Lite and Full, and the DD stands for Direct Debit, which is a payment option, surely not a membership option.

I just can't stand stuff like this, why do people go out of their way to make it harder for me to go about my day? Too many options are bad, make it clear what I'm getting. As for the crappy kiosk applications, I'm impatient and as such am likely to make mistakes, be forgiving and make it transparent what's going on.

I have to say, I think the London Underground have got it right with their ticket machines (though this may be as I'm used to travelling on the system - I actually found San Francisco's train network fairly confusing even though the premise is very simple). They have big colourful buttons on a touch screen, where I can easily search for the ticket I need for my journey.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Bear vs Shark strikes again - TV Billboards

Driving to San Francisco today, I saw a disturbing site - a TV Billboard. This was not a revolving billboard with three rotating adverts, this was a twenty odd foot TV display on a major motorway.

I've always found billboards a distraction when driving, so I wonder how TV based versions will go down. I can just imagine these being indiscriminately targeted at their audience; coffee shops for morning commute, alcohol and restaurants for evening commutes, toys and games for the school runs and the list goes on.

It's just another step.