HMRC Have rebuilt their corporation tax submission thing


And it’s so much better, GDS pattern styling aside; a vast improvement.

Thing is, they’ve done something weird with the login that I definitely do not agree with:

Screen Shot 2018-07-01 at 10.04.03

All which I have written down somewhere and was trivial to find.

Next this screen:Screen Shot 2018-07-01 at 10.04.16Wha??

Screen Shot 2018-07-01 at 10.04.26

I’ve worked on something similar for .GOV but it was to subvert the need for a password; users could just enter their user name and have a passcode sent directly to their registered phone. I’m not sure this is what HMRC are doing and it seems like a totally unnecessary level of security.

But I might be wrong. Twitter me @colmcq.


Vodafone episode #8883732

I have no 4G access on my phone and I don’t know why. I went to the Vodafone website and there was some restriction switched on. When I switched it off Vodafone asked me to confirm my age.

And then I got this screen:


Couple questions:

  • Why force a transaction for something that doesn’t cost anything?
  • What the fuck?

Still no 4G access. Vodafone 0/10 would not recommend.

OK What?

Have you got the thing? No, I wasn’t told about the thing. The thing is important so why don’t you have thing? You get the thing along with the other thing in your starter pack. Oh, I didn’t get any of that. Who do I ask? Don’t know, you could ask your manager or IT support. Oh, OK. Oh no, they don’t know but they told me to email thingy about the thing and maybe I can get in time before I have to be somewhere important where I can’t use the old thing I used before I knew about the new thing.

People are annoyed at you for using the thing. But why didn’t they tell me? Oh, that’s how it works in here. The walls have ears. And why is it taking so long to create this button? I could do that in 5 minutes but everyone here is taking six months. This is insane. You said insane! We have to be meticulous. But it’s costing ten times as much as it should! Why are you standing around in groups all the time and having meetings about meetings? This place makes no sense.

And you won’t get the thing in time and people complained about your shoes but didn’t tell you and the thing is important because it means you can’t use the other thing because of the stuff in the documents you were just sent. Oh my! I never knew about any of that. But you should have been told on your first day.

This is my last day.

Vodafone’s fun mobile SIM installation game


As many visitors to my once not-world-famous or nearly-award-winning blog will know I really love Vodafone and its myriad UX failure. So it was the utmost of sadness that I lost my SIM card playing underwater tennis hockey.

But that’s OK cos Vodafone sent me another!


And I want you to pay extra special attention to the layout and amount of digits on that card cos it’s going to be very relevant in a bit!

Let’s trot off to Vodafone’s website and see how we can activate this bitch!

Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 09.46.18

I think this page was hidden under a million layers of information architecture and I can’t recall exactly how I found it but it asks me what kind of customer I am and because I am a pay monthly customer I click ‘Pay monthly’ which brings this screen up:

Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 09.39.14

So eh right how am I meant to receive the code when I am here to activate my goddam SIM card to, you know, make my phone become able to receive things like activation codes LOL (and I don’t care if you can see my number, I’m lonely; call me)Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 09.39.39

Didn’t get your code? No shit! But at least you give me the option to go through a couple steps to get to this online form:Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 09.40.48

Pay very special attention to the New SIM serial number fields which are five sets of four  and now recall what’s on my new SIM card:


3 rows of 5 and one row of 4 alpha numeric.

Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 09.41.44

So when you try and enter your SIM number it doesn’t fit or accept the letter G. Oh Vodafone! You tricky pranksters!

I am defeat! Much losses! In the end, I had to phone customer services who seem to have the correct validation form on their servers, ‘natch.

But what do you think? Vodafone customer? Think they’re amazeballs? Hook me up on twitter.

A really interesting talk by Tim Caynes about endovascular surgery

Yes, really!

A few weeks ago I went to UX Scotland where there was all kinds of super interesting chats and because I am a massive science dork one really caught my eye.

“Designing for visualisation systems in endovascular surgery” may be the hardest thing to say with a mouthful of Maltesers, but it also frames a presentation around how surgeons need very specific visual information during incredibly complex procedures.

Continue reading “A really interesting talk by Tim Caynes about endovascular surgery”