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By golly this Oatmeal comic is BANG ON (Nicky Tests Software)

On June 30, 2013, in Syndicated, by Association for Software Testing
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Was stumbling through StumbleUpon (as you do), when I came across this:

How to make your shopping cart suck less. (Here’s the first picture of the comic)

I read it and thought So true!




Kept on reading and I kept on relating to all the things the author was referring to:

  • Make the error message obvious and unambiguous? Yes please! I do not like guessing games.
  • Make the asterisk bold and big? Of course! I don’t like playing I spy when I register on a website.
  • Avoid using those security boxes where you have to distinguish messy words that are written weirdly? I assure you I’m not a robot. The number of times I’ve failed registrations because I can’t understand very ugly, scribbly writing (and yes I was even wearing my reading glasses at the time) is just plain embarrassing.

Going through this comic, it seems like a solid fraction of the nuisances are because the website is trying to be secure. For example: The session expired. Probably due to inactivity? 
But then what if you’re at home, filling in this flippin loooong registration form online, you get to the last page, then your partner needs help in the kitchen? You quickly sort things out over there, then come back to your registration, click Submit…. then lo and behold: The DREADED SESSION EXPIRED message.
Annoying. Frustrating.

So it brings me to this, how do people balance both the needs of usability and security; of convenience and peace of mind?

 

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