This is the UX equivalent of the firehouse burning down.

IxDA Website UX Failure http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4027341/ux/Images/ixda-fail.png

Please, allow me to rename my file for you...if you were human, I'd slap you in the mouth.

Do you have any screenshots, stories, or videos of similar UX failures?

(full image here: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4027341/ux/Images/ixda-fail.png)

  • 1
    I can't count the number of usability issues on the IxDA site/mailing list. I can't believe they actually let that redesign out there like they did.
    – Charles Boyung
    Commented Jul 28, 2010 at 17:24
  • Issues like this remind me how important QA/testing are to UX. Commented Jul 28, 2010 at 18:21

4 Answers 4


Curiously enough I was just whining about the visual design of the Clickpass login dialog

alt text http://posterous.com/getfile/files.posterous.com/adrianh/3KNwZfiem3Sfakj1Zps0PeDOWVJ0pYyPOGcOZMgx8nBa1WqbW7oPTeBAY0F8/Screen_shot_2010-07-21_at_14.3.png

Strangely enough I keep hitting the "sign up now" button instead of the login one :-)

  • 1
    This is a great example of how a simple design change will make a big difference to a lot of people. I wonder if it is also the next thing you would get to if you tabbed through elements during login?
    – Damian Rees
    Commented Jul 28, 2010 at 11:42
  • Hahaha. I looked at it for 5 seconds and thought, "What's the problem here?" :S Fooled me. Commented Jul 28, 2010 at 13:16

There's a whole stack of them here:


The silly signs category is also quite amusing:



I recently had to help a friend confirm his email address on the HM Revenues and Customs site (http://www.hmrc.gov.uk).

When he first asked, I thought "Sure you just click the link in the email?". So he showed me the email. And my jaw dropped. It had a link but it just linked to the home page. It then had a very wooly, fluffy and unhelpful English description of how to confirm your email address. Not in bullet point format or anything, just a blurb of text.

So I went to the home page. And tried to log in. And couldn't find the log in button.

To cut a long story short, it took me - a professional web designer/developer and UX practitioner - between 10 and 15 minutes to log in and find out how to confirm an email address on one of the most important government sites in the UK.

It made me really mad that a site that's so important could be so inconceivably bad.

  • I had a similar experience with my health insurance website. Commented Jul 28, 2010 at 13:15

I recently tried to create an account on an ADP site for commuter benefits. It was so chock-full of fail that after numerous tries by both me and a coworker, I finally succeeded in registering as user "epicfail99" out of exasperation.

The sign up page was so awful it was beyond comedy. I had to pick my own username and password, and there was something like 11 or 12 bullet points for rules for what I can and can't use for these fields. I diligently followed the rules and pressed submit only to be greeted with an error message saying I broke some other silly rule that wasn't mentioned. This happened more than once.

And, of course, they insisted I enter phone and credit card numbers with no spaces or dashes. Really? What is this, a high school project?

Because of their rules, my password and user name were so different from any of the other variations of dozens of accounts and passwords that I use that I had to write it down on a sticky. There's security for you! I happen to have a fairly secure 14 byte string of random digits and numbers I use for banking but had to resort to something less secure to meet their rules.

The really funny part was during the "sorry, you failed to give us good data" dance, at one point they asked me to verify "who was your high school mascot?" but I had never told them what school I attended (or even which city or state) much less the mascot. So how could they verify what I entered? I must have had to completely start over from scratch a dozen times.

For all the challenge questions I was warned that the answers were case sensitive, which personally I think is rather dumb. What do they care if my best friend is "Steve" or "steve" -- do they really expect me to remember the case of an answer for a site I'll visit literally once or twice a year? (easy solution of course: always user all lowercase).

My coworker finally logged in and spent the next five minutes trying to find the electronic form we needed to fill out. I somehow navigated to it relatively quickly but it was very easy to go down the wrong path and think the only solution is to fill out paper forms and mail it in (when he told me that, that's when I had to show him where to go on the site).

  • Ouch. I hate password rules--especially when they don't cover all of the bases like you mentioned. Commented Jul 28, 2010 at 13:18
  • My question for you is, why do you WANT to enter your phone number and credit card WITH spaces? Agreed that it should allow any valid format, but really, why waste the time when you can enter a number really quickly with your keyboard numpad?
    – Charles Boyung
    Commented Jul 28, 2010 at 17:30
  • Some people enter spaces in their credit card because that is the way it appears on the card. Further, it is easier to read 4 strings of 4 characters, instead of one string of 16 characters, when double checking for errors.
    – Asrar
    Commented Jul 30, 2010 at 14:58
  • @Charles Boyung: its been proven that humans have fewer input errors when they are allowed to enter numbers in small groups rather than one long string. It may take a tiny fraction longer to hit a couple extra keys but its made up for with the ability to more quickly verify what you entered is correct prior to submitting the form. Commented Jul 31, 2010 at 2:14

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