The Shopping Cart Metaphor Is Killing Me Softly

In ecommerce, the shopping cart metaphor is very nearly ubiquitous. The website pretends the user is wandering around a fictitious shop putting things into a made-up basket. This works well for small things like food, clothes, cats and you know…stuff. But what about the scenario where a user will buy only one item?

Like this oven:


Why am I going to add the frigging thing to a basket? Aside from the fact it would be really heavy *ahem* it makes no sense for what is overwhelmingly likely to be a one-off purchase. Where is the option to ‘Buy now’ where I can go directly to a screen and enter delivery options and credit card details?

Even in 2016 #ecommerce sucks. Thoughts?


I Wish Passwords Would Just Die


As I was researching my fun UXFAIL post this week I came across a kind of mini-meme: the Angry Password Message:

password 5

I have two massive issues with passwords.

Crazy validation rules
Yeah, I’m looking at YOU iForgot. When I first got my iPhone 5 it took me 30 mins to do anything. Why? I had forgotten my iTunes password and I had to reset it but it took me forever to construct a valid password that contained 1 upper and 1 lower case letter, a number, no two consecutive characters the same etc etc. If you want to hack into my iTunes account and steal my copy of this album then my password is: Ifuckinghateitunes6. Aye, you won’t be forgetting that in a hurry!


Password masking
ARRRGHHHHHHHH! Why! This is a huge anti-pattern that should have died in 1978 but persists, a bit like the Rolling Stones, or mould. Whenever I design a signup/login form, I make passwords visible by default:


And seeing what you’re typing is even more important on mobile where data input is a nightmare.

Having said all that I acknowledge how important security is. I had my Twitter account hacked by ISIS wannabes.

Oh yeah?

password 6.PNG

I now have double authentication!

And here’s the contention: should the system force the user to choose a ‘secure’ password or is the burden of responsibility on the user? Is the ideal free’n’easy password creation and if security is super important, double authentication?

What do you think?


What Makes A Good UXer?

I’ve been pondering this problem for ages and while a lot of it is learning and doing on the job, really good UXers seem to have a natural knack for making things simple.

And maybe it’s an innate gift, like being able to sing naturally. It’s that ability to look at a very complex situation and draw out the one or two things that define everything. And to *look at something and go “it should just do this” and maybe that can’t be taught.


*yeah yeah, with the caveat they have loads of user research to back up their decisions.