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January 13, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: PocketPC PIN lock

Ppcclockscreen_1David Deckert writes:

This one has bugged me for years but it took me until now to take the picture. The screen lock function of my PocketPC phone has appropriately large buttons so that you can enter the PIN with your thumb on the touchscreen. Unless you mis-key it.

Then you need to press that tiny little OK button in the upper-right corner. To further add to the torment, there is a dedicated hard button for OK on my phone but it is disabled, wait for it... when the phone is locked!


First! This IS broken!

Posted by: Gabriel J. Smolnycki at January 13, 2007 08:57 AM

inconvenient but not broken, it would be broken if they did not give you that okay to hit and expected you to hit a locked key.

Posted by: PIe4Weebl at January 13, 2007 03:22 PM

If the device comes with a stylus of some sort for using the screen, then this is not broken in the least, you are just being lazy for not using it.

If it doesn't come with one, then I suppose its a bit broken, but I'm also guessing that the only working section of the touch screen once you get to that point is where the "ok" is located, so as long as you touch that basic area, you are fine...

Posted by: Memnon at January 13, 2007 10:59 PM

Memnon continues his 'you are a lazy user, this isn't broken' schtick. I have to admire his consistency.

But, as the poster points out, the standard okay button is disabled, which is silly. The button is much smaller than the others, which is strange. The button is in a non-standard position (it should be at the end of the error message) based on the OS interaction guidelines.

But, at the end of the day, as Memnon points out: users are lazy if things are difficult, and the company who built this shouldn't try to make things easy for you. Owning technology devices means you have to expect things to be complicated and tricky.


Posted by: mmcwatters at January 14, 2007 11:44 AM

Consistenct in UI behaviour is a hallmark of good design. And this experience fails on two counts.

The first is that there are large buttons as targets for the keypad, but the "OK" button int he dialogue box is significantly smaller to the poitnof being difficult to use.

The second is that the physical "OK" button is no longer active to use as an alternative.

Posted by: Carlos Gomez at January 15, 2007 10:24 AM

I have a Pocket PC and know this screen well. Another problem I have noticed, is that every time an incorrect password is entered, the device freezed for longer and longer periods of time. Another problem with this, is if you have hints turned on in the password settings, but have nothing written in the box as a hint, a box will eventually pop up displaying your password. This is an example of a good idea that was just not implemented well.

Posted by: werdnA at January 15, 2007 04:30 PM

mmcwatters... leave your personal crap about my feelings on this out of this forum or an email will be sent to the moderator asking for your removal from posting to this board. There is no reason for your comment, and I take offense to it...

How is it not broken to assume that if you use a stylus to typically work on a device, that you wouldn't then continue to do so?

However, no one has said anything about whether a stylus is used on one of these particular devices... as I said, if there isn't one, then perhaps it is broken...

Posted by: Memnon at January 16, 2007 10:06 AM

There is no reason for that button to be small. A similar message box on a normal PC would have a large OK button at the end, and would also have the option of hitting the Enter key. Since the box is giving you a very predictable message with no options, just being able to click anywhere on it might even be a better method. Either way there is no reason for the developers no to take one minute of their time to make the login process that much simpler. Keying it with thumbs rather than a stylus means you can use just one hand for this simple task.

Effort to fix

Posted by: gmangw at January 16, 2007 02:45 PM

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