Usability: put things where expected

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. It being the conventional position for something, the place we automatically expect to see something. Like a door handle at hand level. Or a web page's most important message at the top. Or a navigation menu across the top or down the left hand side. Not much to ask, is it?

Yesterday Elsie arrived wearing her pants back to front. It didn't stop any of her activities, including her Cinderella task of washing my kitchen floor. However, she couldn't put her hands in her pockets and the pants looked funny.

Why this unaccustomed booboo by an experienced self-dresser?

The inside label, that scratchy bit of cloth with the manufacturer's name (O'Neill), was at the front instead of the back. Like most people, Elsie knows the label goes in the back. It's the main clue for figuring front from back.

Our usability makeover involved cutting off all traces of that label. And sometimes, features of design and content that foil online readers can be fixed just as easily.


Rachel McAlpine
Rachel McAlpine

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1 Comment

* The label goes where?, in TiKouka
* The label goes where?, in TiKouka

May 15, 2008

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