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Stupid Usability #95

The "No-Box" Box

Written By: High Monkey
Posted: 4/6/2015

From the mind of Joel Baglien, VP of Business Growth at High Monkey:

We're all used to seeing boxes on websites.  There's your password box, user name box, search box, and of course the standard search box that Google uses on their home page.  The several examples below make the point.  It's worth commenting that all of these boxes have a common feature - four edges.  These edges give us a visual cue that they are fields on a web page where you are supposed to enter information.
 

 



My work colleagues and I agreed to do the March Madness brackets using the CBSSPORTS.COM website.  I went to the CBS site to create an account and set up my brackets but here is what I was confronted with.


Hmmmm . . .
 
It appears to be a form with information fields but there is no visual cue to confirm this.  I clicked on several spots next to the "Email or Member ID" text.  Nothing.  I clicked a few times above the text.  Nothing.
 
I opened the CBS site in another browser, same form, same look, same lack of results when I clicked, and same frustration.  Okay, so I'm a relatively sophisticated computer user and a generally a smart person but I felt stumped.  Finally, I clicked below the "Email or Member ID" text and a I got a bold line and a blinking cursor icon.
 

 
I was looking for a box with four edges, not a line that suddenly becomes a field for me to enter information.  If you look at the image above showing the entire member sign in form, there is a line under the words "MEMBER SIGN IN".  This visual cue is telling me that anything on the page that looks like an underline is just an underline, not an information entry field.
 
CBS apparently chose fashion over function and caught a dose of stupid usability.

Chad's Bio Coming Soon!

More About Virgil

Virgil Carroll is the owner and president of High Monkey – based in Minneapolis Minnesota. Virgil also wears the multiple ‘hats’ of Principle Human Solutions Architect and SharePoint Architect.

Virgil is one of those rare individuals who can dive deep into technical topics while speaking clearly to the business owners of a project and never forgetting that the end user experience has the highest priority. He calls it using both sides of his brain. Virgil is passionate about leveraging technologies ‘out of the box’ as much as possible with a focus on the strategic use of content to create websites that deliver the right content to the right audience on the right device at the right time. Virgil brings high energy, an ironic wit, and a sense of grounded perspective whenever he speaks to an audience. Virgil regularly speaks at conferences and user groups throughout the United States and occasionally in Europe.

Posted: 4/6/2015 12:00:00 AM by Brian Haukos | with 0 comments