Pandora: iPad HCI fail
"Oooh! Pandora for my iPad, cool! I've been getting into Pandora lately, bought a premium subscription, using it a lot more & becoming a fan...."
Download & install -- fairly simple. Could be more sexy of an app.
"Oh, I like this song and I haven't trained my tango channel very much. I want to thumbs-up this.... Okay, there's the thumbs up button, I'll click it, seems clear, although you'd think the button would be bigger since there's so much wasted space on this screen and this is one of the primary actions. Would be even worse at a party when I've been drinking more than I already have been."
I tapped the button. Nothing happened. (The icon / button under my finger didn't animate or change in any way.) I hit it a few more times. Nothing happened. I felt frustrated and annoyed -- I really liked that flamenco song! Remember it! -- and looked at the screen. I saw the song title and metadata, a pale gray disabled thumbs up symbol, and a "menu" button. I clicked "menu" and it didn't give me an option to like the song. I felt defeated. Can you guess why?
I'm a right-handed user. My hand blocks the feedback that your thumbs-up button has worked.
- The feedback should be in the button itself. Thumbs up / down is a mutually exclusive toggle-type state; the iPod-style controls don't convey that relationship. Nor do they visually convey that my preference for that song has stuck.
- The feedback that you have is a gray, disabled-looking flat graphic. You have plenty of screen real estate to tell me "You liked this track". Why on earth would I think that a gray, flat, disabled-looking silhouette icon means that I have taken action on this item? Seriously. I'm a designer. I'm more attuned to visual subtleties than the average bear. I didn't get it until I systematically parsed my way through the experience -- after 3 failed attempts. You've probably got a usability issue.