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August 2, 2006 12:03 AM

Broken: Logging off from

CitilogoffA reader writes in:

When you click "log off" on, the site asks: "Do you wish to continue?" If you click "no", you stay on the site; if you click "yes" (as in "yes, i wish to continue"), it logs you off. Each button does exactly the wrong thing.

This site probably cost several hundred thousand dollars to build, maybe even millions. Is this really the best Citibank can do?


Fix TIB! Internet Explorer should be supported!

Posted by: gmangw at August 2, 2006 12:08 AM

Firefox is better :)

But yes, quite broken. You would think after spending that kind of money, Citibank would at least have someone test the site. Especially a feature, like logging off, that's used frequently.

Posted by: Entropic Decay at August 2, 2006 01:20 AM

Not Broken. It clearly says by clicking yes you will be logged off. And if you click log off it brings you to this page so by continuing you would be continuing to log off.

Posted by: Alex at August 2, 2006 03:38 AM

I don't understand how this is broken. If you want to log off and you choose continue, obviously that means continue logging off.

Posted by: yofosho at August 2, 2006 03:59 AM

Wow, Alex and yofosho, you guys must be the ones designing all those great "Yes"/"No" dialog boxes in Windows. Great job.

"Yes"/"No" dialogs are broken by definition. Users don't read the text, they just read the buttons. Whenever possible, have actual verbs in the buttons which, you know, tell the users what's going to happen once they click on them.

All dialogs where you have to parse the text in order to figure out what the buttons do is broken, but this one here is particularly badly broken since the text doesn't even clearly indicate what the two buttons mean.

Posted by: LKM at August 2, 2006 08:03 AM

The debate seems to be on whether "Yes" means "No" in this example. The wording could have been better by simply asking the question "Do you wish to continue to logoff?" which removes any ambiguity in the question.

But I would challenge the need to confirm the logoff at all. Why is it needed? If the person logs off accidentally, then they can simply log back in. Furthermore, with good site design, the logoff button or function would be placed in a spot separated from other site functions so that the invocation of logoff is highly unlikely to be accidental.

Posted by: Carlos Gomez at August 2, 2006 08:08 AM

Carlos, your point is spot on, a redesign of the buttons to include the words continue to logoff, would completely alleviate any confusion, and an are you sure you want to logoff is redundant and unesseccary

Posted by: Joshua Wood at August 2, 2006 09:35 AM

Better yet, avoid the text altogether and simply have two buttons:


Posted by: Marla Erwin at August 2, 2006 01:19 PM

Not broken. it says session ending. do you wish to continue? as in "do you wish to continue ending the session?".

Posted by: bonsushi at August 2, 2006 06:55 PM

This is a bit of a thinker for me. In the way that Citibank copied the Windows boxes, they are correct and therefore not broken by Windows standards. But, since everything in Windows is obligated to be broken and/or more difficult than need be, the overall brokenness of this can be assesed as broken.

Posted by: Ducky at August 2, 2006 08:43 PM

What is really broken to me is the paragraph about closing your browser 1. doesn't everyone close their browser when they are done or is that just me? 2. Just closing your browser won't delete any cookies and other info that the website saved to your computer! The buttons are kind of confusing though.

Posted by: tssman at August 2, 2006 10:03 PM

sheesh... apparently people aren't willing to even think for themselves a little bit, or even read what they are doing.

The first line clearly states " clicking on the "yes" hyperlink button below, you will be logged out..."

Then ; "Do you wish to continue?" Yes or No

hmmm... seems to me that the first line that tells you that clicking yes will log you out, would make it pretty obvious that, well... clicking yes will log you out.

Once more so everyone gets it... by clicking yes it will log you out, so when you see it say Yes, what do you think it will do when you click on it?

gee... maybe log you out?

sorry for the bitter sounding post, but come on people. There does need to be a limit to how dumbed down a site needs to be. Just because you actually have to **gasp** read, doesn't make something broken...

**stepping down from soapbox**

Posted by: Memnon at August 2, 2006 11:05 PM

Definitely not broken. Why did Mark Hurst approve of this one. (Maybe because it's the only one he got in a long time.

Posted by: Sean at August 3, 2006 09:41 AM

tssman:I use firefox, and I only close a tab when I am finished with a session. In addition to that, if I'm using a Mac,I might close the window and not quit firefox.

Posted by: Sean at August 3, 2006 10:00 AM

Memnon: User interfaces should be simple and easy to use. Unnecessarily requiring the user to read through instructional text is a bad thing. In this case the instructional text would not be necessary if the question asked included the context.

Further compounding the problem, the instructional text is spatially isolated from the object that is referring to by a big blurb about closing the browser.

Just because the user is able to accomplish his/her goal of logging out does not mean that the design is a good one.

Posted by: Carlos Gomez at August 3, 2006 04:07 PM

I agree with Marla Erwin. Why does everything have to be [Yes] and [No]?

Posted by: Sean at August 3, 2006 07:49 PM

> There does need to be a limit

> to how dumbed down a site

> needs to be.

Uhm... I you have a choice between a clear message and an unclear one, and you chose the unclear one because you don't care if n% of your users will be annoyed and/or make the wrong choice, you have no place in usability.

This dialog is clearly broken. Using clear labels costs you absolutely nothing and will mean that instead of n% of your customers being confused, only o% will be confused where o

Posted by: LKM at August 7, 2006 02:55 AM

I'd say it's broken from a user-friendliness standpoint and not broken from a technical/operational standpoint.

Since it's designed to be used by people who will generally behave in a widely known manner (i.e. won't read the details) it's ambiguous and therefore broken.

Posted by: ItsADryHeat at August 10, 2006 03:34 PM

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