User interfaces that suck

Wednesday, 26 Jan 2005

Skimming the freshmeat announcements, I noticed this little gem: MailNotifier, an extension for Firefox that does as its name suggests.

If you can be bothered to use it, that is. The options dialog, the only way the user will interact with this piece of software, looks like this:

MailNotifier Options Dialog screenshot

Just beautiful. That’s a laundry list of how not to design an interface, right there.

As if that wasn’t enough, after installing the extension the following intro screen will greet you every time you start Firefox until you go through the configuration:

obnoxious MailNotifier post-installation dialog

I won’t even go into the fact that a design which is globally limited to a single checkable mailbox is fundamentally functionally flawed.