Design and interface decisions part 2


Can you spot whats wrong in this image?


Take a minute, really look if you haven't spotted it yet.


Somehow I find this more entertaining then Wheres Waldo...

In case your lost, the image is a screen shot of a GMail message which is being composed.
The word highlighted in yellow is the GMail spell check feature pointing out that "ignorre" is likely a misspelled word (at least in English). The interesting part comes when you notice that the of all the words listed, the last one ("Ignore") is not a suggested spelling but in fact is the action to ignore the misspelled word. Tricky isn't it?

Ok, so this example is somewhat contrived. If you were to misspell say, "spaghetti" as opposed to "ignore" the list of possible corrections would likely not include the word ignore so it would be somewhat more apparent that is in fact an action and not a suggestion. Even still, what indicates the fact that it is different then the other entries. Yep, its capitalized. Does that help, nope.

What if you were unluckly enough to have started your sentence with with a misspelled version of ignore. Then your out of luck, no clues here except for the fact that the word ignore is duplicated, and even still which one is the suggested spelling and which is the action?

You might be wondering why I am so concerned with the way in which GMail's spellcheck handles the word ignore. Do I have a compulsion to spell ignore with two r's which I can only fix via spell check? Not quite.

Yet this illustrates a very simple point which is make clear distinctions or separations. No capitalization does not qualify as a clear distinction. A subtle separator probably could have done the trick, but still be considered somewhat ambiguous. What about the text "Ignore this word" or "Ignore 'Ignore'"? The first more clearly labels it as an action that would be complete which I am fond of. The second one might seem somewhat weird in this context, it would still be clear what you are doing, you are ignoring the word being displayed in quotes.

Alright, time to get this high horse back to the stable.

I guess I should probably note that I have absolutely nothing against GMail, I use it and like it very much. I actually was somewhat surprised since GMail is (or at least seems) very meticulously designed, in a good way. And..I picked on Microsoft earlier, so I'm an equal opportunity nit.

1 comments:

Bryce Boe said...

Heh, I never noticed that. I completely agree it should be something like Ignore misspelling, and even then in a different color or font.

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