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Usability Got-Its and Not-Its


Over the weekend I saw a couple of pop machines (Check out this totally awesome map of "pop" vs. "soda" where you can learn where I am not from!) that on the surface were relatively similar in design and layout…


Not It

Remember the old machines that had a giant picture of a logo on the face panel and a series of small buttons off to the side where you could make your selection?  That’s what this is except instead of one giant logo there is now also a grid of big photo graphics of the offerings that look a lot like buttons.

Maybe at one point vendors lamented all the walk-aways that thought the machine was out of order and sacrificed one of the cells in order to house a message that essentially says, "These aren’t really buttons!"  Or maybe they knew it was a confusing layout in the first place and planned the "Choose Here" bolt-on from the start.

Either way you get an engineered band-aid.


Got It

Now when a see a layout of delicious options, the selection button is right there.  Plus, there is no need for a bolt-on message to correct a persons reasonable assumptions.


  • Buttons should look clickable
  • Non-buttons should not look clickable
  • Bolt-ons are expensive to produce and frustrating to use
  • Bolt-ons can be funny


    John Nelson / IDV Solutions / john.nelson@idvsolutions.com


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