The Usability Chronicles

"Waste Disposal " : Usability Violations

All pages

  1. There is no way to close all the pop-up windows at once, nor are there individual "close" links. If a site opens a bunch of windows, it should have the courtesy to clean them up when the user exits.
  2. There is no navigation between pop up windows.
  3. Users with pop-up blockers will not be able to see the main content.

Splash Screen: peel.html

  1. The video takes forever to load (on a 56k modem). Pages should be designed to load as fast as possible given that they must convey certain information.
  2. The video is anticlimactic. There is no reason to use video just for the sake of using video. An animation with a far lighter load time would have worked just as well. Or no image at all.
  3. The load status bar goes in both directions. Users should never wait for the bar to get long only to have it shrink back again and make them wait longer. Note that Microsoft installers have this flaw.
  4. There is no mute button. Pages with looped sounds should always have a mute button.
  5. There is no text corresponding to the sound, making the page inaccessible to users who cannot hear, or those who have no sound on their workstations.
  6. The continue button resembles the prolegomenon button but it turns a different color on mouseover. Visual effects should be used consistently throughout a piece, unless the differences convey meaning.
  7. The changing text under the load bar is too slow for some users, too fast for others, and is completely opaque to users with limited vision or those using screen reading software.
  8. The text has wild and innacurate descriptions of the site owners, making everything in the site untrustworthy.
  9. The text is rude to non-English speakers; remember, the web is international.

Prolegomenon: prolegomenon.html

  1. The underlining at the top of the prolegomenon is misleading. Do not defeat the browser's usual ways of indicating links. Links should always be underlined, and normally they should be blue by convention (this last rule can be broken if the links are sufficiently obvious).
  2. The prolegomenon takes a long time to load even though it is a plain text page which could load fast. Never link loading of different parts of a piece which don't depend on each other. Instead, make the quickest to load pieces load first, so that the user is engaged during the remaining loading of components.
  3. The footnotes in the prolegomenon are not hyperlinked. Hypertext should be used when it saves users from unnecessary scrolling. Cross-references should always be hyperlinked.
  4. The footnotes have footnotes. This is pretentious and unnecessary.
  5. The close link on the pop up box does not work. Never include a button or link that doesn't work. If a feature is not yet implemented, leave out the button until it has been completed.
  6. The text is archaic and pretentious, damaging readability.
  7. Text uses words in languages the user may not know.
  8. Text uses words the user may not know.

Bananaphone: banana.html

  1. There are no instructions on the bananaphone.
  2. Innacurate representation of banana leaves and mode of growth (bananas grow in bunches). Websites should not mislead the users.