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Letters to the World » Fun with FAFSA

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Fun with FAFSA

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 8:18 pm

If there’s anyone who could manage to create a user interface that’s absolutely elegant but utterly nonintuitive, it would be the government. And the interface for the online FAFSA definitely fits that description.

How so? Well, check out this screenshot from one page of the FAFSA form which momentarily stumped me as I was filling it out. The situation: you’ve selected one of the colleges for which you’ve registered, and you’re now selecting the type of housing for which you’ll be applying.

One slight problem: where’s the “next” button?

My first instinct was to click the big button at the bottom of the screen, as many others have most likely done; this, of course, was before I actually noticed the text on said button: “Delete This School”. Let’s just be thankful you could add it back once it was deleted!

It turns out that the little note that “this page may scroll downward” was quite important on this particular page of the form; the “next” button was just below the fold on the 800×600 screen I was using. Oops!

1 Comment »

  1. Yes, such a thing has happened to me before. It turned out that the next button was in the sidebar, in a dynamic section, instead of the main body of the page. How non-intuitive can you get? Alas, I forget WHERE the site is – I must have pushed the unhappy experience out of my mind.

    Comment by nomie — 08-Feb-2003 @ 9:30 pm

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