GUI Bloopers Checklist

Every blooper in the book is listed here and described briefly. Each blooper has a place to indicate whether your software has that blooper, and if so, where.

We've created a PDF of the checklist for you to download and print. Use it to document bloopers in your software.

Sample Checklist

Project:_________________________ Version:___________ Review Date:__________

GUI Control Bloopers (chapter 2)

  1. Confusing checkboxes and radiobuttons.
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  2. Using checkboxes for non-ON/OFF settings.
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  3. Using command buttons as toggles.
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  4. Using tabs as radiobuttons.
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  5. Too many tabs.
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  6. Using input components for display-only data.
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  7. Overusing text fields for structured data input.
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  8. Dynamic menus
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  9. Intolerant data fields
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  10. Input fields and controls with no defaults
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  11. Poor defaults
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  12. Negative checkboxes
    Occurs:___________________________________________

Navigation Bloopers (chapter 3)

  1. Window/page not identified
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  2. Same title on different windows
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  3. Window title doesn't match invoking command
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  4. Distracting off-path links & buttons
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  5. Self links
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  6. Too many levels of dialog boxes
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  7. Competing Search boxes
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  8. Poor search results browsing
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  9. Noisy search results
    Occurs:___________________________________________

Textual Bloopers (chapter 4)

  1. Inconsistent terminology
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  2. Unclear terminology
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  3. Bad writing
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  4. Too much text
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  5. Speaking Geek
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  6. Calling users “user” to their face
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  7. Vague error messages
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  8. Erroneous messages
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  9. Text makes sense in isolation but misleading in GUI
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  10. Misusing "..." on command labels
    Occurs:___________________________________________

Graphic Design & Layout Bloopers (chapter 5)

  1. Easily-missed information
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  2. Mixing dialog box control buttons with application buttons
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  3. Misusing group boxes
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  4. Radiobuttons spaced too far apart
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  5. Labels too far from data fields
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  6. Inconsistent label alignment
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  7. Bad initial window location
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  8. Tiny fonts
    Occurs:___________________________________________

Interaction Bloopers (chapter 6)

  1. Exposing implementation to users
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  2. Needless restrictions
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  3. Confusable concepts
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  4. Asking for unneeded data (including asking 2x)
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  5. Asking users for "random" numbers
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  6. Pointless choice (including false choice)
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  7. Hard to remember ID
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  8. Long instructions that go away too soon
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  9. Unnecessary or poorly marked modes
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  10. Auto rearrangement of display
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  11. Dialog boxes that trap users
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  12. Cancel doesn't cancel
    Occurs:___________________________________________

Responsiveness Bloopers (chapter 7)

  1. Cursor doesn’t keep up
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  2. Buttons acknowledge clicks too late
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  3. Menus, sliders, and scrollbars lag behind
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  4. Moving and sizing operations don’t keep up
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  5. Application doesn’t indicate that it is busy
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  6. Application is unresponsive during internal housekeeping
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  7. Long operations don’t display progress
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  8. Long operations provide no cancel
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  9. Application wastes idle time
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  10. Application gives no feedback when it hangs
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  11. Web site has huge images and animations
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  12. Web site always reloads whole pages
    Occurs:___________________________________________

Management Bloopers (chapter 8)

  1. Treating user interface as low priority
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  2. Misunderstanding what user-interface professionals do
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  3. Discounting the value of testing and iterative design
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  4. Anarchic development
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  5. No task-domain expertise on the design team
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  6. Using poor tools and building blocks
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  7. Giving programmers the fastest computers
    Occurs:___________________________________________

Color Bloopers (Web appendix)

  1. Text hard to read on background
    Occurs:___________________________________________
  2. Color-differences too subtle
    Occurs:___________________________________________