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I have been reading a book ‘GUI Bloopers’ by Jeff Johnson. They say, you never remain the same after you have read a book, and I wholeheartedly agree. Numerous GUI bloopers, which were in front of me, unnoticed, have all of a sudden, started showing up.

I came across a couple of possible bloopers today in the twitter client – Tweetie. Please note the word – possible – in the last sentence.

Here’s what Tweetie showed me when I started it:

So what is my problem with this dialog box? There is no title in the dialog. Is this a disaster? Not really. I can see the logo of Tweetie in the dialog, so I can associate this dialog with Tweetie, but, pray why break established conventions by having a blank title? Also, some one who might be new to Twitter/Tweetie can be a bit confused about which username and password needs to be entered. Minor issue, but an issue definitely IMO.

Compare that with Nambu, another Twitter client for Mac, which shows a much better interface:

This is so much better.

Another pain point for me is the 140 characters limit in twitter. While numerous debates rage on the positives and negatives of the 140 character limit itself, as a newbie twitter user, I frequently forget that there is a limit. Here’s what Tweetie does to make users like me aware of the limit:

See that limit overflow indication on the top right corner of the window? Well, it so happens that I am frequently writing my twits in a hurry and am used to typing out whatever I have in mind and hitting ‘Enter’. And yours truly missed the overflow indication more often than not. Again, comparing this with Nambu:

Now the limit overflow is crystal clear, isn’t it?

More blooper expeditions to follow. Keep watching this space!


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