Usability & Taxes
I was thinking to myself just the other day, “Hasn’t the standards movement come a long way in the last couple of years”. It really has; if you’re a web developer these days who doesn’t design with CSS you are a complete numpty, and almost every other web developer on the planet will be giving you shit for it.
I just wish the same sort of progress could be made with usability – which while being a closely related subject area, doesn’t seem to get the same sort of in-depth thought from developers.
Rabo Bank pisses me off with silly Radio buttons
Today’s incarnation of bad usability (and web development, I might add) comes from my attempt to set up an account with the online bank RaboBank. They’ve got a great interest rate of 7.35%, so I was keen to get my pathetically small savings with them.
I noticed this odd radio button layout while progressing through the form. I even noted to myself how bad this design was, and that it was sure to trip up some newer web users.
The obvious design flaws of horizontally aligning the radio buttons, not having enough separation between them to allow the user to identify which text label belonged with which radio button, having the radio button to the right of the text (very non-standard useage), AND the web developers laziness not to include
LABEL elements around the text description for easy selection, all amounted to a hard to use section.
So, I proceeded on to the end of the form only to notice on the application summary form that I had selected the wrong tax bracket – dingus! I still got it wrong, even though I pointed it out to myself!
Which goes to show something – either I’m an idiot, or (hopefully a better explanation) bad design can trip up even those of us with a 4 year degree studying this very topic.
How to fix it?
- Simple… stack the radio buttons vertically and aligned – this will create “scannability” of the section – think of using the radio buttons like bullet points (and all web dev’s love bullet points).
- Keep your radio buttons to the left of the label text (as everybody else does)
- And always use
LABEL‘s in your forms!
Mike Heath, GM of RaboBank NZ, has responded to my concerns with the comment below. I never expected such a high-level response, great stuff RaboBank!