Bank of America's website is pure crap. All I want to do is see a list of banking centers and their hours because the stupid ass banking industry keeps highly inconvenient hours for working people. Yes, make your open times easiest for those with unsteady/no jobs! No wonder our banking system is on such stable footing... oh snap, nevermind. Furthermore they are using this piece of poop Bing map which refuses to load. What's so hard about giving me a list of locations in Boston and their hours and contact info? Basic stuff that used to be easy to get in the web 1.0 days, now everything is hidden under AJAX and Flash that information is no longer available on the Internet. Progress in action. Content first, flashiness later.
The New York Times is reporting on a study that showed rats which were fed on a high fat diet did worse in a maze and on the treadmill. The basic 'news summarizing a study' article. Nothing wrong with it except the picture of a giant, delicious looking hamburger and fries. Seriously, what the hell!?! How many people read that article and then just get a craving for a hamburger? They put this in their "Well" section under "Health", great artistic juxtaposition there NYT.
The VA switched to Office 2007 from 2003. That's fine, they gotta use their site license and keep things updated. The problem is that Microsoft sucks monkey nut balls with their latest UI. They take good ideas and drag it through poop and then give it to the user without smelling it first. Apple's stance is that they'll tightly integrate everything and make it a bitch for the user to do something different which is great because the Apple zealots want to be told what to do. Microsoft lets the user do anything they want and then obtrusively bitch at them. Clippy was a great example of this: annoying users isn't a helpful form of interaction.
First of all the tool ribbon idea is good. Provide nice visible commonly used tasks. The issue here is that they push the most important, always used feature of e-mail -- the send button -- away from the corner of the screen which is where you should put things that should be easily accessed. I keep pushing paste instead of send cause I don't quickly see the damn thing.
Furthermore the title bar for the composition window has a very close color to the rest of the application, so when my window is next to the main screen the buttons merge together and I think the main screen is part of my compose email window. I'm trying to send an email not play Where's Waldo?. People have been using contrasting colors in the title bare for a very good reason.
Hey cool, they point out spelling mistakes, again, a good usability feature. I can do what I expect when I right-click.
Oh, but, here's the obtrusive part, Microsoft can't do something right and leave it at that. When I click send...
What the hell!?! I just want to send the thing. Where's the send the effin' email button? You notice that the default option is to "Ignore Once". Why can't it just automatically ignore it and just send when I told it to send instead of bugging me about something that is already obvious in the composition window? The rule is that you assume the user is a moron and help them as much as possible by leading them to do the right thing, Microsoft instead wants to yell at the user, "I know more then you! But I might not really so here's a way to get out of it but you'll have to look carefully and read a lot of crap to find out that special option."