Friday, May 28, 2010

Another Bad UI

Microsoft is the champion of Bad UI design... mostly because MS has so many end-user softwares that are very spread. So, it's not really their fault. However, I find some mistakes more serious, mainly when we are talking about the OS. And let's remember that Windows hasn't changed a real lot in the last 15 years.

The bad design was in the Copy File box:

Names ommited due to privacy issues

It's bad enough that for some reason the file transfer had stalled. But I was copying many files, one at a time, to this destination folder. Now, one of the "Copying..." boxes was clearly telling me one of the operations have failed, but which? Where is the name of the file? When copying a file from one place to another, there are 3 informations that are crucial to the user:
  1. Which file
  2. From where
  3. To where
(2) could be ommited if files in our HD had unique names, but since we end up naming a lot of stuff like "Todo.txt", "tasks.txt", "prices.txt", "list.txt", we need to know which of them we are talking about. Older boxes like these solved the space trouble by including additional information in a ToolTip. But in Vista, MS forgot that the filename had to appear somewhere. 

I had to start over and check each file to see if it was correctly copied.

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