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January 12, 2005 10:55 AM

Broken: Yahoo Travel form

YtravelOnline travel pioneer Terry Jones sends us this Yahoo Travel form and writes: "I never saw any travel program in history that listed TO as the first entry... it's like having the gas pedal on the left."


I've seen this before. I think it's a semantic gap with respect to the web designer; the web designer is busy doing computer stuff all day, including email. Email programs usually display "To:" first, then "From".

Posted by: quanta at January 12, 2005 11:24 AM

The comment reminds me of our two prevailing keypad formats -- Higher numbers at the top for keyboards and calculators, but lower numbers at the top for phones. Broken? Maybe not, but it strikes me funny, having these reversed interfaces not six inches apart on my desk. Someone might accidentally develop a GUI phone dialer based on their keyboard's layout, or vice-versa.

Posted by: Chris at January 12, 2005 11:32 AM

I was at SFO airport last week and checking out an ATM machine. The only accesibility feature of the keypad was a single raised line on the 5 button. How do blind people figure out which key layout a machine has?

For that matter, how do blind people use an unfamiliar ATM machine?

Posted by: Alex at January 12, 2005 12:48 PM

My question is, why are there Braille instructions at my drive-up ATMs?

Posted by: Cary at January 12, 2005 01:29 PM

Oh, that is such an old joke. Besides, the answer is obvious -- people can walk up to an ATM, or you could drive up to one so your blind passenger in the backseat can use it.

Posted by: at January 12, 2005 01:35 PM

Braille on a drive-up ATM is explained much simpler in that it's the same keypad used by a drive-thru as a walk-up.

Posted by: Carlos Gomez at January 12, 2005 02:06 PM

Alex: A bump on the 5 isn't an accessibility feature (and neither are the bumps on F and J on a keyboard or typewriter) -- they're just there so you can tell when your hand is in the standard position on the keyboard. Useless on an ATM, but useful on a numeric keypad for data entry -- and there's no reason to buy numeric keypads for ATMs that specifically *don't* have the bump.

Posted by: rich at January 12, 2005 02:18 PM

Seems like a fine idea in my books... when I'm traveling, I'm more interested in the destination than where I currently am.

Posted by: richard at January 12, 2005 06:44 PM

What the hell are you guys talking about; can you put it in simpler terms?

Posted by: big G at January 13, 2005 03:16 PM

I wouldn't say this is *broken*, exactly. Saying it's broken would mean the site didn't work. Poorly designed, maybe. Broken, no.

Posted by: at January 13, 2005 09:40 PM

"Broken" is a term being used to represent poor design, and not to be taken literally. There are many things that function, but are very poorly designed. The design is broken. The usability is broken. The customer experience is broken.

By common usage on an large number of sites, the sequence of fields is origin and destination. People skim web pages. They don't really erad them. So by breaking this common convention, people using the site have a more difficult time filling in the form.

Posted by: Carlos Gomez at January 14, 2005 08:17 AM

Quanta, I don't know what email program you use, but Outlook, OE and Pegasus Mail all put From before To (except when you're composing a message, when From doesn't appear at all).

Posted by: David at January 14, 2005 08:47 AM

Carlos, you obviously don't "erad" your posts before you post them either.

Posted by: Brian at January 14, 2005 08:00 PM

OR, it was purposefully designed this way so that you would remember the particular site or webpage. Often we traverse thru page after page and only when something catches your attention do you remember it. Does make you wonder!

Posted by: Howard at January 15, 2005 06:16 AM

When was the last time you talked to someone about going on a trip and they said "Oh? Where are you leaving from?"

I see this as being designed so that you focus on where you are going on your trip. Maybe that's not the way everyone else does it, but it seems fine for one way of thinking.

Posted by: Jay911 at January 16, 2005 09:50 AM

BAHHHHHHHH!!!!! This is so miniscule... who the h-ll has time to be annoyed by such things? So you enter TO first and FROM second.. YOU STILL NEED TO ENTER BOTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT DOES IT MATTER?!?!! AHHHHHHHH.....

Posted by: aneurism at February 5, 2005 10:46 PM

It isn't on the left? Damn, that's why I get so many tickets.

Posted by: flatluigi at July 7, 2005 11:11 PM

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