Every once in a while the great bald one posts to his blog about an
interaction design issue - this one is good and illustrates that there are
always places to improve the user experience:
The world's worst toaster
*http://tinyurl.com/2t9p4a* We recently acquired what might be the worst
toaster in the history of the world. It's pretty fancy and shiny and
microprocessor controlled. And it makes toast.
But here's what I have to do to use it:
1. Choose the number of slices, and bagel or bread.
2. Remember whether it counts the slices from the left or the right
3. Insert the bread.
4. Push down the handle.
5. Choose toast or defrost.
6. Make sure the darkness level is right. (This doesn't count, because
it usually is).
7. Press on.
8. Wait till it beeps.
9. Lift the handle I pressed in #4.
10. Turn it off.
Most toasters, of course, consist of steps 3 and 4 only.
I thought about this when I got a note from eBay asking me to pay my bill
for an item I sold last month. It says:
To view your invoice and make a payment:
1. Go to http://www.ebay.com and click "My eBay" at the top of most eBay
pages. You will need to sign in.
2. Click the "Seller Account" link (beneath "My Account" on the left side of
3. Click the "View invoices" link, and then select the invoice you want to
view from the pull-down menu.
4. To make a payment, click the "make a one-time payment" link in the "eBay
Seller Fees" section.
It took me more than 11 clicks to send them $6.
The opportunity online is to fix your toaster. When you want to make toast,
the site should get out of the way and let you make toast.
"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"