Weekend Discussion: Usability - Mozilla to West Palm Beach

Friday November 10th, 2000

We're all probably keenly aware that there were numerous usability problems (and here) with the balloting in West Palm Beach county during this Presidential election which created voting patterns which according to statisticians are, for all practical purposes, an impossibility.

Not going into questions of legitimacy regarding the vote, my questions to you are these: Can blame be placed when usability issues create incorrect or uncertain results? Is there remedy? Much has been said about usability issues in Mozilla - how does Mozilla's usability play a part in the developer/user relationship? Is there blame to be placed if a lack of usability testing creates an interface that's difficult for users to navigate? Do you think a correlation can be drawn between software UI usability and usability issues for paper interfaces like government forms or ballots? What responsiblity, if any, does the user hold for navigating a UI or form that suffers from serious usability issues?

#4 Re: absolutely

by Hard_Code

Friday November 10th, 2000 2:31 PM

You are replying to this message

"punching two holes is just plain stupid IMHO and not a usability issue"

You know what I hate? When people use check boxes as radio buttons. I see this all the time in UI design. If somebody is using check boxes instead of radio buttons, should it be my fault if the whole application crashes when I "incorrectly" check more than one box?

Granted this is not exactly the case with the ballots, but it is similar. Say you make a mistake and poke the wrong box. How do you unpoke a ballot?'re screwed now!