Poor Form Design, Peter

Last week, I dinged ePrizes for a problem on the Caffeine promotional site. I had so much fun with it, I’d like to point out how they’ve bollixed the usability on the sweepstakes that the company is running with it.

To enter the contest, you need to register. On repeat visits, you sign in to enter again. Click the Login button at the bottom right corner of the screen. Here’s the sign in form:

Ooops, that's the JavaScript error on the sign in form
Click for full size

Oh, I’m sorry, that’s the JavaScript error that displays before the sign in form displays. Never mind, this is the sign in form:

Poor form design, Peter.
Click
for full size

Revel in the beauty of the user name and password edit box, but no obvious submit button. No, it’s not missing, it’s just off the screen:

Never let usability get in the way of a cool design!
Click for full size

You see, the designers already had a cool idea; let’s put all the action buttons in the lower right corner where it’s not obvious that they’re action buttons or where they might actually display off screen when the rest of the form elements are elsewhere on the page.

Oh, for Pete’s sake. Interactive people like to flout convention to shock the bourgeois users out of their customary ways of thinking. Even if they have to cost a couple abandoned forms to do it.

Yo, QA, when you see something stupid like this, speak up. And shorten that leash, the designers are piddling on the petunias again.

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