Inconsistent user experience

I’m annoyed. Very annoyed. Here’s why.

In Internet Explorer 6, CTRL + central mouse wheel used to change the font size. It used to drag the fonts from smallest to smaller to medium to large to largest. As far as I can recollect, wheel towards you increased the font sizes; wheel away from you reduced them.

In IE7, two changes have occurred:

The first of these issues doesn’t seem to take into account stylesheets particularly well. For the BBC News website, things look fine. For this site, the different components drift towards or away from one another, as you zoom out and zoom in respectively.

The latter is annoying not because of its inconsistency with IE6, but because of that with Firefox 2.0.

Now I’m not saying Microsoft is wrong. There are certainly arguments for zoom rather than font scaling from an accessibility perspective. And as for the zoom direction, you could argue that either Mozilla or Microsoft is right:

My issue is with the inconsistency this causes in people’s user experiences. While Microsoft may have had some logical explanation for changing the behaviour of the scroll-wheel, the fact that people had got used to its old behaviour meant that (in my view) it was too deep-rooted to change.

So, now we have two products, both of which I use to do the same thing (in different contexts—sometimes things don’t work properly in Firefox, and other times I want to do a spot of IE testing), the two of which react in diametrically opposite ways when I perform the same function.

I’m annoyed


8 Responses to “Inconsistent user experience”

  1. elise on January 22nd, 2007 05:52

    yeah, IE 7 sucks. i uninstalled it after about 3 hrs on my machine during which lots of weird things started to happen.

    i only use IE now when a website (a**holes) doesn’t work in FireFox.

  2. Shanahan on January 22nd, 2007 06:07

    Are you sure you’re holding the mouse the right way around?

  3. Gav on January 22nd, 2007 06:07

    Title of previous post – ‘Where grammar and geekery collide’

    Title of this post – ‘Inonsistent user experience’. Whats inonsistent? Thats gotta hurt?

  4. Dan on January 22nd, 2007 06:27

    Corrected. Thanks for the heads up, Gav. There’s a very significant difference between typos and grammatical ignorance, btw…

  5. Dan on January 22nd, 2007 06:33

    I have it with the ball on the desk and the buttons at the top. Is that right?

  6. Gav on January 22nd, 2007 17:31

    Bit harsh to pick the poor geek’s up on ‘Inconsistent mixed-casing’ then. Maybe they are just typos too?

    Oh, and a mouse with a ball? You sill running Windows 3.1 on one of those modern 386’s too?

  7. Dan on January 22nd, 2007 17:34

    I think you mean “geeks”, not “geek’s”.

    That is all…

  8. sodem on January 24th, 2007 08:10

    Who uses IE now? If I can’t run it in Firefox I give up on the site, no going back after this long on Ffox.

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