Slaughter the Button!

02Jul09
Does it Smell which wine you are drinking?

Does it Smell which wine you are drinking?

Let’s be honest: buttons suck. Dropdowns suck, sliders suck, everything that makes you think sucks.

Example: 1:45 AM. You want to get money our of an ATM, you are not very sober and next to a bar and ran out of money. You enter your card, type in your PIN code, now the fun starts. Questions start popping up.

“Money Operations” “Transfer money” “Print out statements” “Change PIN” “Order Tickets”. It is 1:45! What do you think I am here for, to wash my laundry! NO, get me the money and stop bothering me. Who wants to print out statements in the middle of the night?

So all information is there, we know the time, we know what the most common interaction is (get money out) so why do we need that many buttons?

Slaughter the Button – Use Environmental Input

Computers are so good in calculating, remembering, connecting, so why can´t we (interaction designers and usability people) not use that information to stop bothering the user?

If we know where you are, why show you restaurants on the other side of the world? If I know that you are 90 years old, why try to sell me diapers? If you know that I am using IE7 on Windows Vista, why show me solutions for XP?

Sensors, Bluetooth, GPS, etc…

As we know even know where you are, we know what is around you (Bluetooth), what time it is, what temperature it is and sometimes we can now even now more things like your weight, your sex, name, interests etc. Why ask when you already know?  

No excuse except that it can get pricey.

Ask yourself:

  • What do I already know that I don´t have to ask the user?
  • What information can I obtain using sensors or connecting to a site so I don´t have to ask a user for input and so I can make a decision for him or her.
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One Response to “Slaughter the Button!”

  1. it is true that we often neglect or question the information we can get from the environment, system data etc. but we shouldn’t leave just one button on the screen. good defaults is also great, but user should be confident you have the right information about him.


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