6 Apr 2006 pcolijn   » (Journeyer)

Suckage

"Everything sucks." -- pphaneuf, circa 2003

This claim turns out to be mostly true. I've had some (minor) UI rants stored up for a while, and I really just need to get them off my chest.

Treo

I've been pretty happy with it, but it does have some UI nits that drive me crazy from time to time:

First off, the address book is pretty decent, in that it lets you store multiple numbers per person, their picture (which you can take with the builtin camera), address, birthday, etc. All the standard "address book" stuff you'd want. And it even has a type-ahead-find feature that lets you type "pu" and get all the punks in your address book (a rather large list on my phone).

Now comes the integration with the phone application. This is actually pretty poor. When you get a call from an unknown number, it asks if you want to add them to the address book. Fine. But you can't just add that number to an existing contact. It always creates a new contact for you if you choose to add them. Grr. So you create the contact, save it, try to remember the number, then go edit the actual person and add the number as their mobile or home number.

Then there's the phone log. It's not by reference. So you get a call from some punk one day, and add him to your address book. Then he calls you again. In call log you don't see the name twice, you see the number and then the name. Come on.. it wouldn't be that hard to do the call log by reference, and it would make it so much more useful.

Finally, memos. Memos is an incredibly simple application. You create memos (which are essentially text files) and then you save them, view them, edit them, delete them. Pretty basic. My only gripe is that the main UI lists all your memos by number, but you can't just push the corresponding number on the keypad to select a memo. A small gripe, but that feature would save a lot of time.

LiveJournal

I recently got a LiveJournal account (caffeinemonkey) so I could have a friends page and view protected entries. (Don't worry, this is still the official location for my blog.)

My god does LJ ever have some bad UI. My most major issue is that there's no login link (or indication that I'm not logged in) on the friends page. So when I go there I never know if I'm logged in, and I have to go to livejournal.com, see that I'm not, log in, and then reload my friends page. Seriously, people! Way to suck.

The "user info" and management pages are also hideously awful, but at least you don't use them that often. But seriously, stuff like "If you are this user, you can blah blah blah"? Hello! I'm logged in here! Of course I am this user!

The navigation bar at the top is also problematic. I mean it's ok, but it's not really all that discoverable. It took me a while to discover that I needed to use that thing and go to "Manage" and then "Friends" to add friends. I initially thought of the user info page as the "change your settings and manage stuff" page and was looking for links on there to edit friends and such.

Ok, phew. That felt good :) Be sure to join us next time on "bitching about random UI suckage."

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