Posts Tagged ‘Web Usability’

Amazon’s way of disabling controls

October 13, 2009 1 comment

Today I saw an interesting way to disable the button shown in the web UI. Today I was browsing Amazon and trying to pre-order a book named “Confessions of the public speaker” written by Scott Berkun. I haven’t ordered books from Amazon since I have moved to this new address.

But Amazon has a validation before completing your shopping cart check out. That is: If you are shipping to a new address for the first time, you must key in your payment information again. This is for verification of authentication.

But I saw a “continue” button in the upper right corner of the screen.


I tried to click the “Continue “ button, but once I move my mouse over this button the button got faded out and ah ha, there popped a clear message explaining why I cannot click this button, at this point of time.


Rather than hiding the controls and startling the users by making them visible suddenly, this approach is cool. This is better than the approach of  enable/disable controls too, for this shows a friendly message to the users; rather than showing dumb disabled control.

Nice transparent way to control the UI flow. I am thinking of writing an user control for this. 🙂


Don’t kick your users away

October 1, 2009 Leave a comment

Running a service website and making it successful is always tough. And that’s why only very few of sites become smash hits while some remain as mediocre for ages and get faded away. When you compare the hit sites with mediocre site, the only difference we would always see is USABILITY coupled with SIMPLENESS.

Forget usability, some site drive away people right from the registration page. Today I thought of placing an advertisement about transferring my JTC. I placed this advertisement with some sites that offer to post free advertisements. I am OK with some sites, even though they required me to get registered at first and showed unclear clumsy highly RSA “look” encrypted Word Verification. But there was one particular site (88DB) and that annoyed and drove me crazy.

See I was there to quickly post an advertisement. If I have to register myself by giving my email-id just in case for verification, I am perfectly alright. But why in the world are you asking me to fill in really un necessary information like age, salary, education etc? And these fields are mandatory. Every time I click register the site was continuously coming up with an error message asking me to fill in some unwanted detail. And there is another laughable mandatory field: what are the services you are interested in? (with numerous check boxes). Really are you aware of current trends in web design and user interaction?

Congratulations! Just now you have kicked a customer out and away from your site.

Ask little from user. Get him hooked in. Show some of your interesting stuff. Let him play and let him get a hang of your site. If he likes you, he gives other information. Do not push the user unless you run the site just for fun.