Just like code smell I recently thought of the term UI smell. Apparently the term is already sort of used but not very much.
The system I’m currently participating on has a few:
- System message "Please press button …": If the system already knows what button should be pressed, why ask me to do it?
- System message "Would you like to save the changes?" – "Yes" – "Can’t save changes because of …": Why don’t you check if you can save before you ask me?
- System message "Message sent." – "Can’t send message because of …": Why tell me you performed the action while in fact you haven’t already?
- And the best: a form that can open in 9 different modes which make the form act subtly different while there are no visual clues telling the user what mode the form is in.
I really feel sorry for the future users.