Voted Off the Island
Tom Chi  

The scariest interface part II…

November 11th, 2005 by Tom Chi :: 15 Comments

Wow, we got some great entries for this contest. A quick recap is in order. The task was to submit the scariest interface you’ve every used. We saw complicated weather pages including one that threatens to freeze your machine if you right click. We saw a variety of apps that buried us in a landslide of menus toolbars buttons palettes and tabs. We found out what happens when you hire 12 designers and take just one design element from each, as well as what happens when you hire 400 advertisers and take *every* ad from each.

There were creations of colossal clutter from companies big and small. There were curiosities of unclear utility. There was even a scary site that let you listen to the star-spangled banner whilst shopping for assault weapons.

My personal favorite was band in a box, which offers all the headache and confusion of a sloppy band practice without any of the fun. Its combination of familiar elements with terrible UI gives it a glimmer of understandability right before confusion and panic set in.

Kevin didn’t agree. He picked horserentals.com as the winner, commenting that Band in a Box got to me primarily because of my musical training. Anyhow, we had no tiebreaking vote, so both submitters get to be supergreat winners!

So now for part II: The prize this time is a cameo appearance in a future OK/Cancel strip! That’s right, you’ll get to join the ranks of Nielsen, Norman, Spool and Tutfe as a two dimensional collection of colorful cartoon pixels. All you need to do is pick either of the following:

* horserentals
* Band in a Box

…and redesign it for usability and appeal. Link a screenshot of your revised interface and post it as a comment. You’ll be wrestling Alan Cooper in no time.

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OK/Cancel is a comic strip collaboration co-written and co-illustrated by Kevin Cheng and Tom Chi. Our subject matter focuses on interfaces, good and bad and the people behind the industry of building interfaces - usability specialists, interaction designers, human-computer interaction (HCI) experts, industrial designers, etc. (Who Links Here) ?