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I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
My sleeves have come unstitched / From climbing your tree
— Wilco, Muzzle of Bees
September 27, 2011
Windows Interface Nightmares: FoxIT PDF Viewer

FoxIT PDF Viewer

These days I swap between a Mac and Windows fairly frequently. Windows applications never cease to surprise and amaze me with interfaces that are poorly thought out and sometimes just obviously poorly designed.

FoxIT Software makes a PDF reader that’s a popular alternative to Adobe’s own spectacularly bloated Acrobat Reader program. Up in the right hand corner of the window of the application there’s the standard three windows buttons—Maximize, Minimize and Close—but along with a fourth button for the Change Style preference.

This button, yes, lets you change the colour scheme of the program.

It’s ideally positioned for accidental input (which is how I noticed it) and introduces an unfamiliar element to a very standard location. The three standard buttons control window behaviour, while this has nothing to do with it. I’m wondering if any usability research was done to show that people needed to be able to change their window colour preferences so frequently that a dedicated button—I’d normally expect to find this in a preferences panel—needed to be added to a high traffic location.

This isn’t, of course, Windows’ fault: it’s FoxIT’s. They made the decision, though I’m surprised the Windows API allows for a button to be added here at all.

Posted by skooter at 6:55 AM This entry is filed under Technology.
This entry is tagged: Foxit PDF, Interaction Design, Usability, Windows

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