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July 2, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: (news) Moving over to Good Experience

Please join me now at the Good Experience blog, where I'll continue discussing customer experience, including broken things.

Submitting photos

Please submit new photos and screenshots to the This Is Broken photo pool on Flickr. (Archives of past posts will continue to reside here at

Reason for the move

After four years - since the first This Is Broken post on June 20, 2003 - I've decided to consolidate my customer experience writing onto one blog. Maintaining two separate blogs has become more difficult to balance with book writing, conference production, and so on.

So, see you over at the Good Experience blog!


June 30, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: UT San Antonio online application

UtsaJeremy Teale writes in:

I am supposed to graduate from the University of Texas at San Antonio after the summer term. I checked my degree evaluation online and found that all my requirements have been met so I tried to apply for graduation online.

So I went through all the proper steps on the web - I verified my name, declined the alumni association offer, etc. and then I was greeted with the address page above.

It reads "click here to add diploma address, phone," but there's no hyperlink to do so. Then I checked my "Personal Information" tab on the navigation menu and it contained my correct address - so I didn't know why the online application said that it didn't have my address for the diploma.

The acronym for the UTSA online graduation application should be, ASRAP: Automated Student Run-Around Program.

June 29, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: Chevy Impala A/C control

Chevy07Doug Schaefer points out:

This is a photo of the HVAC controls on a 2007 Chevy Impala car I rented.  The position indicator on the 3 control dials is a small blue LED in the chrome trim ring of the dial.

At night, this is very readable and easy to see.  However, during the day, the blue LED is very hard to find in all the chrome reflections - it takes a concentrated effort to tell where the dial is pointed.

June 28, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: St. Croix newspaper article

Fat1Bob Sifniades submits a scan of a Health and Fitness article from the St. Croix Avis newspaper:

The St. Croix Avis, a US Virgin Islands newspaper published this AP article about body fat with a photo showing an MRI scan image.

The caption of the photo reads: The image is of an average-sized man who is 1.9 meters tall, weighs 79 kilograms and has a normal index of 21.7. Internal fat is show as yellow, external fat is green and muscles are red.

The image and the caption do not match - The image is distorted to make the figure look fat, most Americans don't know the metric system (FYI, 1.9 meters is 6 feet 3 inches, which is quite above average - 79 kilograms is 174 pounds), and the photo is in black and white so you can't see which parts of the image are muscle or internal and external fat.

June 27, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: Samsung cell phone message

SamsungmessageNatasha Lloyd points out:

I got the message below when I wanted to delete a demo game from my Samsung C417 cell phone:

"All the JAR files will be deleted. A
re you sure you wa
nt to delete?"

This message is broken for two reasons.

One, most people probably don't know what JAR files are, so how can they be sure they want to delete them?

Two, there's really no excuse for not supporting word wrapping nowadays - "A re" and "wa
nt" break the reading flow, making you read them at least twice to get what they're saying.

June 26, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: Sign at Oakland Airport

OaklandairportScott Souchock submits a picture taken by Brian Jones in Oakland, California:

My friend Brian Jones sent me the photo above. He commented: "For me, in person, it was hard to decipher what was to the right and what was directly out the door to the street that this sign was above."

To solve this problem most clearly would be to print "Through door to" or simply "To." on the sign.

I believe we rely on arrows maybe a bit too much. In either case, things that are through the door should have a downward pointing arrow because you're going under something.

Airports and transportation facilities in general, should have the highest quality of signs anywhere, because a lot of people coming and going are one time or infrequent users.

June 25, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: Rehearsal studio door bell

BellFelix Wells submits a picture taken in Kentish Town, London:

Me and my band spotted this doorbell at a rehearsal studio in Kentish Town. We were trying to figure out where the door bell was for a very long time before we figured out that the arrow was irrelevant and the door bell was staring us in the face.

Congratulations if you can figure out what the arrow is for - it appeared to be pointing at the door.

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