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Letters to the World

30-Dec-2001

Yet another exploration of not-so-well-thought-out

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 9:11 pm

Yet another exploration of not-so-well-thought-out user interfaces…

Here’s a screenshot from the installer for Prassi’s PrimoCD CD-burning software. (I’ve seen this interface used in several other places as well, so I’m supposing this program is a component of some sort of InstallShield-esque kit.)

Now, a quick quiz: What button do you click to install PrimoCD? The one on the right looks like a good choice; it seems to suggest “continue”. Indeed, that’s the button I clicked the first time I used such an installer interface. And the program exited. Restarting the setup program and holding the mouse pointer over the right-hand icon, I noted that, in fact, its tooltip read “Exit the browser”!

That’s right: the icon with the CD, arrow, and hard disk is the correct icon to start the installation process.

And incidentally, while on the subject of ambiguous icons, I thought at first that the left-hand icon would launch Prassi’s website or somesuch. Turns out that it changes the language in which the installer text is presented. But even once we’ve figured that one out, we’re not without problems: If you don’t speak English, how exactly will you identify your native language in this dialogue box?

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