Usability Gaff (UG) 1 – A New Blog Series

Thought I’d start a new series called Usability Gaff, UG. Obviously I spend a fair amount of time online, after all it is my job. Very frequently I come across something that is just plain wrong. Here’s the first UG.

I went to the Illinois Tollway site the other day to update my credit card information. We use iPass here. It’s a small transponder that is read by the toll bandits as you drive past. You fund it with your credit card. Hadn’t been to the site in a couple of years, so I of course couldn’t remember my password. I decided to re-register. Pretty easy. But then I was presented with this screen.

Can’t comment on the intent, but this is wrong. Users are conditioned to check boxes when they want something, not when they don’t. I unchecked it and then hit confirm. Too late. So I had to find my profile on the site and uncheck it there. Now these email updates may be very informative, but every single mile of the Illinois Tollway is under construction. I don’t need an email reminder to tell me that. All I have to do is get in my car and drive anywhere! Here’s a map from their site that shows, in red, what roads are under construction. It’s all of them!

Would be much more interesting and helpful if they allowed you to select your normal route and then get updates when lane configurations changed or closed. Even better if you would know where they were in the project plan. Halfway completed. Two more months to go…

For those that don’t live in the Chicagoland area the Oases referred to in the description of the email updates are traveler rest stops that straddle the road. Fast food, souvenirs, etc. Not exactly Michigan Ave shopping.


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