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Stupid Usability #5

Alarming Alarm

Written By: High Monkey
Posted: 11/21/2013

From the mind of Jared Vander Hook, Consultant at High Monkey:

I haven’t used many alarm systems that are intuitive, and the alarm system at our office is no exception. A basic keypad and a small screen provide little indication that is of any help to how you might activate or deactivate the alarm. It seems a bit like the keypad was designed without considering what it would be used for. There’s no clear message suggesting where to start, just some numbers and what seems like random words. Without picking up a user manual I have no idea what any of the buttons do, or why I’m getting a thumbs-down icon on the screen. Basic and common tasks like activating and deactivating the alarm should not require a user manual.



A simple solution to fixing this stupid usability could be dedicating a button to activating the alarm, titled Activate, and dedicating a separate button to deactivating the alarm titled, Deactivate. Simple, intuitive and straightforward. When I press Deactivate, the screen would ask me for my security code. That’s it. Two simple buttons and  a prompt on the screen could turn this stupid usability into something pretty smart.

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: 11/21/2013 12:00:00 AM by | with 0 comments