Platform Pet Peeves

Lately I’ve noticed what seems to me to be sloppy user experience design (UXD) in many of the apps I use. If the mistakes were on small, indie apps that lack the budget for a User Experience Designer or an Information Architect, I could let these go (although why are you building apps if you don’t have a strong working knowledge of UXD?). It’s not the indie developers, though. It’s the big guys: Apple, LinkedIn and Pinterest. They have the budgets and should know better. Here are some of the UXD issues I’ve been repeatedly irked by lately:

OSX Mountain LionAPPLE MESSAGES: They don’t fully sync across iCloud like they should. As a result, you may message someone from your iPad and get the answer on your iPhone or Macbook. Worse, should you try to resume the conversation from the device the conversation “moved to” you’ll find it jumping back to the original device, and the history of the conversation split across machines. It never catches up, either. Inexcusable.

LinkedInLINKEDIN: As I mentioned on Twitter, LinkedIn for iOS doesn’t play well with other apps. For example, say I read an article on Facebook that is hosted on LinkedIn, or I get an email from one of my LinkedIn Groups that I’d like to respond to. I am not sent to the LinkedIn app. Instead, I am sent to Safari wherein I am presented with a landing page informing me that there is a LinkedIn iOS app and would I care to download it now? Weak and disappointing considering how well everything else on the LinkedIn app is. This is a fairly major oversight and makes the app seem amateur.

PinterestPINTEREST: While the Pinterest app for iOS has greatly improved with version 2.0.4, it still has some irritating bugs. The first is minor, but annoying as Hell. At least once a week, Pinterest asks me to rate the app. That would be perfectly fine—if I hadn’t already rated the app six times. I kept rating it, thinking maybe each rating is for the new version, but that isn’t it. So finally I clicked on “No Thanks” only to be asked again the same day, just two hours later! Ridiculous.

The second bug is not a bug at all; it’s a feature change that I happen to hate for very legitimate reasons. Time was, if you liked an image on Pinterest, you’d right-click or Command click it to save it. With version 2.0, they removed the ability to save photos—or so it seemed. They actually moved the functionality which they had right the first time. Now if you want to save an image, you have to go under the Share menu. What the? Sharing is not downloading. This is just a bad idea and it goes against expected behavior (i.e., every other iOS app lets you click on the image to save). What are you thinking, Pinterest? This is just bad UXD. The dev that made this call should go work for some other team that doesn’t value the user experience. Microsoft’s Excel team, for example.

What’s been bugging you on your various and sundry digital devices, lately? Do tell…