Dilbert.com, an example of UI Design gone horribly wrong

I love Dilbert. Which tech-geek does not?

The online comic strip used to be run with a UI that is still in use by all of the comics over at Comics.com. You see today’s strip, you see a calendar with all previous strips, you can go backward and forward with simple text links, etc.

Recently, Dilbert.com got a facelift, with needless injections of Flash in place of needless injections of Botox. The interface is clunky, although visually it looks sleek. Gone is the ability to easily go back or forward, gone is the calendar. Gone is anything even remotely resembling User-friendly design, let alone User-centered design.

I suspect someone forgot to do their usability testing at every step of the development process. Since we know that Comics.com is in charge of Dilbert.com, I’m hoping that they realize their mistake and convert to legacy UI, quickly.

The only reasons I could think of to move to Flash are bad ones. 1) A manager/developer/engineer wanted to use Flash for Flash’s sake. 2) Dilbert.com doesn’t want folks “save image as…”-ing their comic strips and Flash prevents that functionality. 3) The interactive team has seriously misinterpreted what the internet audience is looking for from their site.

Here’s to a bad decision gone wrong by committee, most likely. At the very least the internet is a forgiving medium. Just upload the old code and you’re in business again.

Ignore your audience at your own peril, too. But if you can’t even remember the lessons about keeping the interface User-centric, then I’m guessing the lesson about pissing off your audience hasn’t sunk in for you folks at Dilbert.com/Comics.com yet either.

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One response to “Dilbert.com, an example of UI Design gone horribly wrong

  1. Yeah, as to no “Save Image As”, use Alt-PrnScr instead. It takes out the casual thief (locks and honest people, and all that), but 20 seconds or less in Paint, even, will clean it up enough to post on the office wall to taunt your own PHB.

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