Friday, September 18, 2009

Yet more rubbish UI design on a telephone

What is is about telephones that inspires such awful design? Is it any wonder that the iPhone is a success? It must have been like shooting fish in a barrel to design a phone that works (if you happen to be Apple).

My desk phone is a Cisco IP Phone 7960 Series which is apparently "designed to meet the communication needs of professional workers in enclosed office environments--employees who experience a high amount of phone traffic in the course of a business day".

Right now I've got voicemail. This is shown by a big red thing glowing on the handset and a message that says "You Have VoiceMail" on the display, and a flashing envelope symbol.

Right next to the flashing envelope is a soft button. Since it's pointing to the envelope, doesn't it seem like that should take me to voicemail? Well, it did to me, at least, but nope, it's the equivalent of pressing the "PickUp" button and asks me what number I want to dial.

And then, why, when I get into voicemail, do I have to use the number keys to navigate and not all the nice soft keys on the phone? For crying out loud.


If you enjoyed this blog post, you might enjoy my travel book for people interested in science and technology: The Geek Atlas. Signed copies of The Geek Atlas are available.


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