The UI designers who design invisible interfaces are just as bad as the software developers that implement them.

Forgive me, I just read some n-gate and that always puts me in a mood.

My wife asked me for help printing something from her insiPad. She’s got a 25 page pdf that she only wants to print one page of.

How to do it.

We had previously downloaded some hp smart program that allows you to take webpages and other content and send it to the hp smart program so you can print it.

And indeed is does print. It found my printer, it knows how much ink I’ve got left, the whole nine yards.

But how to print one page of a pdf. There’s a a print button and a few other icons and a hamburger menu, but no page layout settings where traditional desktop program put that option.

So I google. Try and google anything with ipad and print and all you get is zillions of articles how to print from your ipad.

Then I tried the hp virtual assistant. Slightly less useful than a human who couldn’t answer my question, this thing couldn’t even understand what I was asking.

So I give up asking for help in this world of endless documentation. I suppose I could post a stackexchange question and wait a day to get downvoted for existing. But that wouldn’t help me solve my problem.

So I go back to poking at the interface and finally… finally I hit upon the magical incantation. One must double click the preview of the page. Not long-press mind you (which at least on android is a standard UI technique) but double click. Maybe this is an ipad thing, I never use apple products so perhaps this is a standard I am unaware of, but once again, the invisible UI design bites me in the ass again.

I wonder if anybody does a study on how many millions of dollars are wasted on UI, development and QA resources for features in products that never get used because the interface to the feature is invisible and nobody accidentally comes across it.

I HATE HATE HATE invisible interfaces.

Right now I’m writing this rant in wordpress, and there’s no save button anywhere. There is no key I can see to press on my keyboard to make the save button appear. Oh… there it is. Tab. If I press tab the invisible interface appears again.

Of course it doesn’t say that on the screen anywhere “Press tab to see the publish button.”

All the invisible UI designers should burn in hell right next to all of the incompetent software developers who implement them.


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