Erik I


Filed under #ux and #brokenUx

Say you live in a country where English is not the local language and you found an interesting article on a local website. Maybe you want to share it with an English-speaking friend of you, and you have reason to believe there should exist an English post or article somewhere on the web containing the same results.

So you open your search engine and type the words into it. As luck would have it these words can also be valid in your local language so the search engine in its wisdom provides you with local results as shown below:

Searching for something to find an English version of it.

No problem you think: There is a setting where I can choose what language you want your results in.

So you go to the menu where you can change it and you try to change it and you find two choices, all languages or your local language:

Try to change the search language.

OK, fine, I probably just have to set the region first, that almost makes sense (no, it doesn't, buy hey):

Try to change the region.

There are two options and the one that is already selected is the closest I can get.

This used to work, but sometime, somewhere, someone has got paid to create ux sketches to break this and didn't step up to ask what they were thinking, a developer has developed it without saying “are you crazy?” and QA has let it slip.

Or maybe, more likely I am afraid, the story is that they all did it enthusiastically to “simplify the interface”.

Well done: you have now “simplified” a part of the interface that nobody except people like me even think about, only you haven't simplified it or even made it slightly harder to use, you have broken it.

All in an effort to simplify things I guess.

Good UX is hard. Making things simpler is hard. Part of what makes it hard is that you are supposed to keep the useful properties while simpifying it.

Next up: I have created a much simpler and cheaper car. It looks really slick, it is made of cardboard, has no weels, and there is a hole where the driver seat used to be so you can walk around with your car.