Jon Gold

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When UX Goes Bad

I haven’t blogged for a while. I’ve got lots of half-written drafts—who doesn’t?—but there just hasn’t been anything that’s got me pissed off enough to put aside uni work and finish a proper post.

And then I bought a Logitech product. Now I’m REALLY pissed off.

I’ve been using Mike’s old Logitech wired mouse for several months, ever since he spilt a cup of tea over my old Mighty Mouse. It’s an old one, very comfy but I hate wires so I thought I’d treat myself to a new v470.

The Packaging

Could they not have decided on a better package than a plastic clamshell? Not only was it difficult to get into but the bubble around the mouse was so tight that it was frustrating to get it out.

Junk

It’s 2011. I’m used to iPads and iPhones only having the bare essentials in the box. Are two huge double sided posters of technical disclaimers in every language imaginable and a driver CD necessary? I don’t know how Apple gets around not having detailed warranty information etc in the box, but it must be possible so why can’t Logitech?

The Website

I haven’t had a CD drive for 3 years so I had to hunt through the Logitech website to find a driver otherwise some of the mouse buttons wouldn’t work. Yes, a driver. In 2011. On a Mac. The Logitch website is a horrific experience all around but the thing I find most puzzling is the URL structure. I’ve often wondered why big (enterprise?) sites have URLs that deviate from what we’d choose.

As an example, why not rewrite

http://logitech-en-amr.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/aid/7256/kw//session/L3NpZC93c2lCWHB1aw%3D%3D_

as

http://support.logitech.com/products/v470/manuals

Surely it’s just a matter of appropriate routing?

I opened up that question to Quora; if you have any suggestions I’d love it if you commented here or answered on Quora.

The rest of the website was similarly horrible and unusable, it’s like they stop employing UX designers for existing customer-facing pages.

Software

Now to install the driver. Standard install, until I get asked this question. Bearing in mind I’m ‘installing’ a mouse. Not a keyboard. On a Mac. That has it’s own keyboard layout. I wonder if this option actually affects anything in the system or just serves to confuse users?

With all that done, I now have to restart my Mac (I thought we left that at Windows 98?), and then go to the proprietary control panel. Why deviate from expected UI conventions? Why do I need a separate app to configure the behaviour of a scroll wheel? Why can’t you be more like Apple?

Maybe I’m making a big deal out of nothing, maybe there are technical limitations I’m overlooking. Or maybe I’ve come to expect beautifully thought out products from years of using Apple products. Whatever it is, I’ve spent the entire day angry at poor UX decisions that could easily be rectified.

Having products as rough around the edges as this leaves a sour taste in my mouth and makes me think Logitech just doesn’t care about me so long as they have my money.

Which is a shame, because it’s a nice mouse.


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Jon Gold

Jon Gold is a technologist, musician, and attention activist researching the long-term future of computation at Airbnb, focusing on the intersection of Artificial Intelligence & the creative process. Contact