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Getting the basics right

User interface design is hard. When you look at a website and just don't feel good about it, that often comes from a poor placement. You can't find what you need, you get frustrated, and you leave.

Big companies have this problem (click for close-ups):

  • HP: Why is "Basics" the 4th tab?
  • Apple: Why is "advanced" under "edit preferences" instead of under "advanced"? Or why isn't it called something else?
    image image
  • American Airlines:  Why is "My Reservations" – something I need every time, often in a hurry, under "Book a Cruise"?

Lesson: Watch out for simple layout mistakes. These kill customer confidence.

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  1. maia July 7, 2009 at 9:19 am #

    Hi there,
    We had this problem with our site ‘’ too. we had two options when donating to a project: ‘add and continue’ and ‘go to my wallet’. People didn’t understand. Now we have changed it into the button ‘check out’ and ‘cancel’.
    Another difficulty is the international focus; In the Netherlands for example, where Pifworld is erected, people interpret words completely different. Have you got any advise for that?

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