Usability déjà vu

ONE: Today, I filled out a form to sign up for an online mailing list. When I clicked ‘Submit’, the page refreshed but the form was still there with the personal info I’d entered. Hmmm, I thought, I must have missed one of the required fields. I scanned through, but didn’t see anything highlighted or any other sign of error. Finally, I noticed this message at the top:

Feeling a sense of déjà vu? That’s because you’ve already filled out this form and are on our mailing list. Thanks so much for your interest!

You’re welcome, but I would have preferred for the form to disappear, replaced by a thank-you page – with a link to edit the info I’d entered, if you feel strongly about offering that option immediately.

TWO: I use Open Office software, which isn’t as elegant as the Microsoft equivalent, but I’m generally happy enough with it. Today, though, I’m annoyed with the word count function. It counts just fine, but every time I try to close out of it, I get the help popup. Can you see why?

I don't want help.

I click on the right-most button out of habit. Every time. Even when I KNOW last time it took me to help. The moral of the story here is that so few users will need help with the word count function, so make a secondary option. I’d like to see OK be the only button, placed where the help button is now with help being hyperlinked text over in the left-hand corner.

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2 Responses to Usability déjà vu

  1. Hey Amanda. Just learned about your blog! I agree with this discrepancy, and I assume you’re a native PC user? Crazy thing is, native Mac users would say the opposite as their primary CTA is typically on the left. It can make it easy to tell which “language” the designer speaks from these types of forms.

    Of course, that’s when you have “Submit” and “Cancel” for instance.

    In this case, “Help” is not related to “submit” at all. Lose the button, Open Office!

  2. Hey Erin! Thanks for your comment. I haven’t been converted to Mac yet, but the difference in “language” is a good one to know about.

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