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Stupid Usability #75

Foiled Again

Written By: High Monkey
Posted: 10/27/2014

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

Most of you probably use a dishwasher on a regular basis.  Thoughtful detergent manufacturers have gone to great effort to make their packaging convenient.  What they didn't anticipate is that a slick foil package and wet hands make for stupid usability.
When I finish dinner (or any other meal) most of the time I run a little water on the plate or bowl with dried egg or some other food chunks on it.  Glasses usually have water or some other liquid left in them that gets dumped in the sink or sloshes out.  The result is that my hands get wet as I'm putting dishes into the dishwasher.  So the dishwasher is full and ready to run . . . all I have to do is add detergent.  Easy, right?  Enter stupid usability.
The particular brand of detergent that works for our hard water is "concentrated with powerful cleaners that remove even the toughest stains . . . " yadda yadda yadda.  I take one of the concentrated (meaning small) packages and attempt to open it.

Take 1:  Wet hands + slick foil package = no possible way to open the damn thing.  No, seriously, it's impossible!
Take 2:  Wipe my hands on a towel.  No joy here either.  The foil package is wet.  Same result.
Take 3:  Grab new detergent package.  50-50 chance of success because everyone knows that drying your hands on a towel doesn't completely dry them.
Take 4:  Open foil package with scissors.  Swear loudly about how stupid this is.
What success looks like . . .

The smug ones among you reading this post will say something like, "Why don't you add the detergent before you load the dishwasher and your hands get wet?"  That's not how I do things.  Good usability means planning for how people will behave, not how you think they should behave.  Better usability would be to make the package out of a material that can be gripped with wet hands.  Until that happens, I'm using the scissors to avoid being foiled again.

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: 10/27/2014 12:00:00 AM by | with 0 comments