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So Which Is It?

Here's the UI on the gas pump that I saw while I was filling up my tank this morning:


So what do I do?  Begin fueling or wait?  Wait for what?  For how long?  Turns out the wait was waiting for me to pick up the pump handle.  Really.

While I was filling the tank, they also saw fit to put an ad up on the display.  90% of the display was filled with the Mobil logo.  Then the bottom had the text "Enjoy a hot cup of coffee only 69 cents." (or some such needless wordy urging to buy their coffee)

Well, it almost had that - the text didn't quite fit so the single line of text alternated between "Enjoy a hot cup of coffee only 69" and "cents" each hogging the display for about 5 seconds.  You have a 50/50 chance of lookup up and seeing "cents"  That's it: "cents"

Lessons learned for your UI:

  • Don't give your users an imperative that makes no sense
  • Check the appearance of your UI before you commit
  • For fluid UI, consider a check for when UI elements won't fit and issue a warning at authoring time.
Published Friday, July 27, 2007 5:05 PM by Steve Hawley


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