As software developers, we invest an unusual level of effort obsessing over details of user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design, striving to create seamless digital interactions that delight our users. Sometimes, even market-leading applications can stumble over seemingly minor details. Let’s take a look at an innocuous oversight in the popular navigation app, Waze—one that reveals a deeper issue in how we approach user feedback.

The Waze Hazard Dilemma

If you’ve used Waze, you are accustomed to warning pop-ups that help users to corroborate hazards identified by other Wazers – “Hidden Police” or “Car on Shoulder”. Is the hazard “Still There” or “Not There”? These response options make perfect sense.

UX Failure Waze

But picture this: You’re cruising down the street, Waze dutifully guiding you through traffic snarls and detours as it informs you of a “missing sign”. Now you’re faced with two options: “Still there” or “Not there.” Wait a minute—what? How do you respond to that? Is it still missing? Is it not there? Was it ever there? The choices offered feel careless. And as developers, it irks us.

The UI/UX Conundrum

Waze’s oversight highlights a broader challenge in UX/UI design: context matters.When we create interfaces, it is critical to consider the nuances of real-world scenarios. Users aren’t robots; they encounter messy, ambiguous situations. In the fast-paced world of software development, it’s easy to overlook minor interactions and edge cases, but it’s these very details that can make or break the user experience, shaping how users perceive and interact with our products.

So, what’s the solution? As developers, we must embrace nuance. As consumers of software and software consultants, don’t settle for “good enough.Demand excellence in the details.

Ask the important questions:

  • Does this app understand the complexities of my world?
  • Does it respect my intelligence?

Because in the end, it’s the little things—the missing road signs—that shape our digital journeys.

As both developers and users, let’s challenge ourselves to think beyond the surface and consider the nuances of each interaction. In our founders’ early Big-5 coding days, they tested everything; really, everything. The user experience should be no exception. Our UX designs balance three critical aspects:

  • Efficiency of Use: Attractive interfaces may not offer the most efficient method of entering and consuming data. This is particularly important in the business software that is our bread-and-butter here at Moreland.

  • Intuition: The user interface needs to be clearly understood and easily navigated by the most casual user. Some of you likely had kids watch attempt to navigate Instagram. Easy to use. Easy to get lost.

  • Perfection: Attention to details is typically the job of designers. Developers can focus too much on code efficiency and reusability that can slowly break down the original intent of the user experience.

Let’s fix this. Give us a voice beyond “still” or “not.” Let’s navigate toward a future where UX/UI isn’t just about pixels and buttons—it’s about understanding the messy, beautiful human experience.

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