Isys Information Architects - Making information usable

Interface Hall of Shame

The Interface Hall of Shame is an irreverent collection of common interface design mistakes. Our hope is that by highlighting these problems, we can help developers avoid making similar mistakes.

We are constantly searching for examples of design practices that are worthy of extinction, and those worthy of emulation (see the Interface Hall of Fame). Submit your own nominations for potential entries into either hall to, and we'll try to add it to the collection.

New Entries
Quicktime 4 logo Our review of the new GUI in Apple's QuickTime 4.0 Player. Users of all operating systems should be concerned.
Example for a control Selecting the wrong control for a task or changing the way controls operate can often result in an inefficient and frustrating application.
Question mark Nobody likes a stupid computer. However, many applications interrupt the user to ask stupid questions, provide meaningless information, or require the user to make what should be an obvious selection.
A pair of classes Improper design of the visual elements in an application can often result in applications that are difficult to read and difficult to use.
Color gradient The improper use color in an application can seriously impede the usability of the application.
Binary Data The terminology used in many applications often leads the user to feel that the interface has been written in a foreign language. We provide a number of examples of these 'programmerisms'.
Error Icon Error messages are the antithesis of proper application design. They are often ambiguous, rude, and all too often, incorrect, blaming the user for failures of the programmer.
Tabbed Dialog Tabbed Dialogs can be a wonderful solution for complex design problems. Here are some examples of a good idea gone bad.
Trashcan Metaphors can greatly enhance the usability of applications when properly used. When improperly applied, well, they can leave much to be desired.
Globe The globalization of applications provides fertile ground for discovering important user interface problems.
Crosshair We have provided a number of in-depth critiques of particularly problematic applications.
Books We have assembled a short list of Recommended Books for those visitors who wish to delve more deeply into user interface design.
Pin More information on user interface design can be found in our Design Links section.
Index Our Product Index lists all products mentioned in the Hall of Shame, and provides links to the specific problems discussed.
Feedback Check out our Visitor Feedback section to peruse others' impressions of the site, or share your own.