Software update confirmation alerts

Software confirmation update alerts are mostly helpful when they are shown immediately after I’ve gone through an update process.

However, to show the alert on every subsequent load, just because I haven’t explicitly dismissed it, is completely overkill.

Take, for example — Amazon Music:

Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 1.28.09 PM

I updated my software about three weeks ago when I stopped my Spotify premium subscription. (I’ve been questioning my life choices ever since.) I’m really just too lazy to drag my mouse over to the ‘x’ button, and I’m really curious to see how long it takes for them to hide that alert stripe. So far, two weeks and counting.

I’ve been trying to find a use case for this…any takers?

Someone called the word police

You know, what I said was loads nicer than the things they’ve said to me. Anywhoodle, I digress. Check out this error message:

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 6.40.54 AM

In this case, I had written:

Take care of the people who take care of you. In other words, don’t be an asshole.

If they were able to swap the word in question with something less offensive, it would have been an interesting and humorous workaround. I mean, they put the work into detecting an offensive word from a library of words.

They could’ve easily extended that work to replace the word “asshole” with something fun, like “meanie pants” or “poopie face.”

It was a lost opportunity to create a moment of comic relief.

The infinite upgrade loop



I make flowcharts when I am gleefully toiling away on a new UX project. I also make flowcharts when I get really, really, really, really frustrated by a terrible workflow.

…And here I am. Making angry flowcharts. Finding my zen.


Figure 1. Error message + proposed resolution


Figure 2. App screen that shows only an ‘open’ button because an upgrade isn’t actually available


Figure 3. Click ‘open’ or dismiss modal to go back to Keynote to be greeted with a screen that never goes away.

Pre-selected available times are unavailable. Say what?

I seem to be picking on calendar UX a lot lately…

So, I’ve recently noticed that my vision is going downhill. Maybe it’s because it’s been 3 years since I’ve last used my vision benefits at Amazon. Oy vey.

I access my optometrist’s website to schedule an appointment and get a fairly manual form. However, there are some tidbits that lead me to believe that it may be hooked up to some sort of availability calendar:

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 7.45.17 PM


I fill out the form with my info. When I get to selecting the dates, it automatically provides me with a dropdown of available appointment slots. However, this UI acted inconsistent when I put in my first date for this coming weekend. I guess they didn’t have any slots available and therefore didn’t select a time. They did let me pick the date though, so I assumed they had availability. The 2nd and 3rd choice dates gave me times to choose from, so I did and proceeded.

When I hit the submit button, I got the red error above. 1st time required? Like, I need to be a new patient? That seems lame. I switch out the radio buttons and submit again.


I look a little closer and visually match the ‘1st time required’ error with ‘1st choice’. I clicked the drop-down and it had no times available. (Why on earth would you allow me to pick a date that didn’t have availability?) I ended up choosing an alternate date that wasn’t the 2nd or 3rd choice and it populated with some times.

All in all, it took a simple form that should’ve taken me a minute or two to fill out to a 5-10 minute ordeal, because I had to troubleshoot their ambiguous error message and thoughtless automatic time selector.

At least I know that the optometrist is worth the hassle!