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Stupid Usability #18

To breathe or not to breathe

Written By: High Monkey
Posted: 1/16/2014

From the mind of Jennifer Foster, Graphic Designer at High Monkey:

With cold and flu season fully in effect and my quest to be able to breathe I have come across a two-for-one in good and bad usability. Let’s start with the good. In my search for the perfect remedy I was reading my way through the cold and flu aisle at the store and noticed something that I thought was kind of nice. There are arrows guiding you through the important information on the box.



I started reading the back panel of the box and followed the arrow to the side of the box which in turn guided me to the final bit of information I needed. I had never noticed this before and was quite impressed with the simplicity and effective use of not only the arrow to guide me, but the use of the limited amount of space that a small box of cold/flu medicine has. With this information soundly in my mind I made my choice and purchased breathing salvation. Time to take my medicine.

This is where the bad usability comes into play. How in the world do I open the plastic bubble to get the pills out?



It isn’t the convenient blister pack that you can simply bust open the backing and be on your way to breathing free. No, it’s the plastic from hell with the little notch that fools you into thinking it will tear right open. So I start to pull and twist at this little impenetrable piece of plastic with very little success. Finally after a few choice words and a small prayer to the heavens it starts to tear. But wait, that doesn’t mean I am home free. No, I still have to tear open the rest of the plastic that the pills are incased in.



I am happy to say I did eventually free the pills and start my journey to recovery.

So how could this have been avoided you may ask. Simply by using the convenient blister pop open backing that I have found used for other medication.
 

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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: 1/16/2014 12:00:00 AM by Brian Haukos | with 0 comments