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Tag Archives: usability fail

Facebook thrives on FOMO, the Fear Of Missing Out, it seems.

It’s a known dark pattern that Facebook sends you pseudo notifications to keep you glued to their platform for longer.

But it appears to be overly active with its AI review of content, too:

So it happens that I’m being warned about my own post on my own FB page as spam.

Not sure how a post about my pet rats being cuddle masters can trigger a spam alert.

But to warn me about my own post I’m publishing myself to my own profile as spam is simply Artificial Intelligence gone awry.

Still, I have to make a case that no, I “don’t think my post should be deleted”.

Guilty until proven innocent seems to be the norm when judged by AI.




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Having recently submitted a new visa application, I was asked if I wanted an SMS alert when the result is back in Cape Town. It only costs R20.

I denied and asked how else I would be notified about my visa outcome. I was told I’d have to log in to check for updates myself.

I wondered why I wouldn’t receive an email, but left it as that.

Turns out, I do receive email updates for my visa application.

Just so cryptic, with ‘CRM Admin’ as sender and more weird CRM code in the subject, plus repetitive with almost identical emails in a short period of time, that my email provider regards it as spam.

Luckily I check my spam folder regularly.

Who would’ve thought that instead of receiving no notifications, I’m now being spammed by too many!


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Encounting an error is not a pleasant experience, but to be confronted with a blank page as a result is worse.

Or, in tech terms: A usability fail.

This site offers no help to get out of this error situation.

It completely interrupts the user flow.

Coming to this page is a dead end, with no links to click and no text to comfort.

Good Practice Tip: Even a 404 error can be fun.

There are great examples how to turn a painful 404 error into a fun experience.

Don’t waste a perfectly good opportunity to connect with your customer.

#Good #Practice #Tip by #YoursTrulyJuly


For security purposes I often get asked by apps if my account information is still up to date.

Diligently I check and update accordingly.

So I did when I was prompted by Microsoft: I thought adding my phone number could be a good idea.


Microsoft, for whatever reason, takes 30 days (!!!) to update your account info.

Good news? Somebody explain to me why Microsoft takes 30 days to update security info in the first place!
Good news? Somebody explain to me why Microsoft takes 30 days to update security info in the first place!

For 1 month I could not login to my Microsoft account just because of this ridiculous waiting period.

Microsoft locks me out of its services because I have to wait 1 month for my security info to update.

While this might not affect Outlook or Skype, it did hinder my work as I could not download the Microsoft app I wanted.

So watch out when these silly security alerts come along.

Some have serious consequences!

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As a general rule I don’t sign up for newsletters and such to keep my inbox free from clutter.

However, as shown in the screenshot below, I could not proceed with the registration when I unticked the opt-in option.

The error message: “This field is required.”

So I’m forced to keep the opt-in checked, otherwise I cannot register.

Also a way to get subscribers.

Seeing this is accompanied by some copy errors that show why it’s so important to proofread, I guess it’s not surprising how blatantly this usability fail goes against consumer protection.


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Sometimes, as if it’s not tough enough having to meet the demands of a bureaucratic system,

messy design makes you almost click the wrong button…


This form is a mess and represents several usability fails in its formatting and design.

This form is a mess and represents several usability fails in its formatting and design.


Usability Fail 1: Both buttons are in the same colour and design

When a Primary Action Is Positive (for example ‘Send’ or ‘Submit’)
The primary action associated with a form needs to carry a stronger visual weight. Secondary actions should have the weakest visual weight, because reducing the visual prominence of secondary actions minimizes the risk for potential errors and further directs people toward a successful outcome.


Usability Fail 2: Action buttons are weirdly aligned

If your form uses a one-column layout, your button will be more visible to users if you align it to the left of your text fields.


Usability Fail 3: Wrong order of actions

With the buttons visually separated, putting the action to continue (e.g., OK, Save, Submit, etc) on the right is more likely to match your users’ expectations.

On multi-page forms, you’ll have more than one button. You’ll have a ‘back’ button that takes users to their previous page. And you’ll also have a ‘continue’ button that takes users to the next page.

Because these buttons behave like pagination, they should follow pagination conventions. Continue button goes on the right while the Back button goes on the left. This maps to the direction users want to go when they paginate.


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Best Practice Tip: Always proofread


This signup form poses a This Or That Question:
Do you create everything yourself OR do you outsource production?

But it only offers a YES / NO Answer!


Do you create everything yourself OR do you outsource production? YES / NO?

Do you create everything yourself OR do you outsource production? YES / NO?


Such a silly mistake can make an entire survey invalid.

That’s why you must always proofread your copy before publishing.


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