Conclusion and Resources
The only positive thing to come out of mixed signals is that they can be funny. Trading comments about the Windows Start menu has surely brightened many an otherwise dull afternoon, and my former college roommate has probably gotten more than an hour's worth of laughter out of my old phone. So, the next time you find yourself caught up in a tangle of mixed signals and feeling like the joke's on you, write about the experience and share it with your friends. Turn the tables on the tricksters, make fun of them, and get everybody laughing. If enough people hoot and holler, maybe it'll get fixed after all.
This week's action item: Play some April Fools' pranks. Have fun!
- View the dog-and-pony show behind most Web site privacy policies as Peter first unveiled it in the two-part "Respecting user privacy" series (developerWorks, April 2001).
- For a particularly troubling example of intentionally mixed signals, see the recent column, "Ease-of-use or marketing-driven sabotage?" (developerWorks, December 2003).
- This classic
of mixed signals is actually an urban myth. Search around and you'll
find several versions of the story with a different person's name each
- Get comic relief from the Collection of Windows jokes 2.3 -- good for the days when Windows just isn't funny anymore.
- Or, in keeping with the theme of the month, check out the April Fools on the 'Net archive.
- Of course, if you're truly cranky, go directly to the Complaint Center, which features an index of computer- and Internet-related customer complaints.
- Visit the Developer
Bookstore for a comprehensive listing of technical books,
including hundreds of Web-related titles.
- Also see the Web architecture zone tutorials page for a complete listing of free Web-focused tutorials from developerWorks.
- Find all previous installments of The cranky user column at the column summary page.
- Visit developerWorks Web Architecture zone for a range of articles on the topic of Web usability.