This post will not be a “Dear Diary” post, because this is not one of my usual posts. This is a homework assignment to find human computer interaction (HCI) fails. What this means is: when you try to interact with a product, it confuses you, annoys you, frustrates you, or any other negative emotion. Due to these emotions, the product you’re interacting with failed to have good usability. Products should be designed with the user in mind, since they will be the ones interacting with it. No matter how fancy or pretty or technologically savvy something may be, ultimately, it needs to work well for the user.
One example of an HCI fail is the MacBook Pro 2018 Touch Bar. Sure, it’s a novel idea … but why do I have to tap so much just to adjust my volume? Former keyboards have dedicated keys or hotkeys to adjust the volume. With only a touch bar, I have to tap to turn it on, tap to open up extra options, then tap to adjust the volume, and then tap to close the extra options. This is frustrating especially when I turn on music and it’s too loud. If it’s at night, those are precious seconds I’m wasting clicking! Apple is also trying to implement the touch bar with other applications, and that’s confusing. For my notes app, there’s a button on my touch bar to insert a table? Plus, if I get used to the orientation of the buttons in Google Chrome, if I switch to another application, they’re all new. There’s no consistency as to which platform utilizes the touch bar and how.
Another example of an HCI fail is inspired by my mom’s frustration with the Royal Caribbean website. Royal Caribbean is a cruise company and handles booking cruises, flights, hotels, and excursions. This sounds great! A one stop shop for booking a cruise, except my mom always gets upset using it. My mom has a Royal Caribbean account, because there is a rewards system for the number of cruises you take. When she is booking a cruise, she logs in, selects a cruise, and then is asked for information regarding her Royal Caribbean account. Why do they do this? If she’s already logged in, surely they have her account information available? It would be nice if they could auto-fill the basic information such as her account number and immediate family members. Instead, every cruise we take, she has to go find her account number, insert her name, my name, and my sister’s name. Also, when she’s in the process of booking a cruise, if she goes to the homepage or any other page, she loses her current booking progress. She has to start all over inserting the same information again!
Another example I thought of is my distress with using the Maya (3D modeling software) shortcuts. In order to rotate an object, the shortcut is Control-E … but Control-R scales the object. Control-R makes so much more sense as the hotkey for rotation.