Every so often I come across a user experience that is most likely a bug but could also possibly be by design. Here’s a good example. I often write myself emails through Gmail to serve as future reminders. Essentially overloading e-mail and leveraging it as a todo list. After sending myself an email from my laptop this evening, I noticed that Gmail told me that I sent the email 3 minutes ago – even though I had just sent the email. After some investigation, I saw that Gmail uses two different data sources to figure out when an email was written and how long ago it was written. Let’s take a look with a sample email:
As can be seen in the second image above, 7:54 PM is based on the actual and correct time (according to Google’s servers) as to when the email was written. “3 minutes ago” turns out to be based on my computer’s internal clock. This can be easily reproduced by opening up the settings in OS X and changing the computer time to some time different than the correct time.
Noticed a bug while looking through my friend Joseph’s list of friends on Facebook.
Here’s what I’m shown first when I go to browse his friends. As expected, I see his list of friends sorted alphabetically and I’m shown the friends at the top of that list.
After scrolling through the list, I encounter one of my other good friends Tom:
…and I click through to view his timeline:
When I’m done viewing his timeline, I touched the “friends of Joseph” menu item in the top left section of the page. As a user, my expectation was to be taken back to Joseph’s friend list at the exat spot where I originally selected – namely the T’s where Tom’s name exist. However, I am taken back to the top of the list:
Noticed a strange bug when searching for a business page on the Facebook iPhone App. Even thought I had previously liked the business, the search results still displayed a hollowed out thumbs-up icon that indicates I have not yet liked the business. Here’s how to reproduce the bug.
1. Start with a Facebook Page you’ve already visited and liked. Search for this Page in the iPhone app:
2. Just in case you haven’t liked it yet, double check, and press down on the empty thumbs-up icon to like the page again:
3. Visit the page and confirm that you have liked the page:
4. Touch the top level menu to search again. Here you will see your previous search query correctly displayed in the liked state:
5. Then, clear out the search box:
6. Finally, search for the same page again. Now, you will see the page displayed again, but it is displayed incorrectly as if it is not in the liked state.
Noticed a bug in the Twitter web flow when a non-signed-in user attempts to view another user’s Following list. For example, I was attempting to view the list of Twitter handles that Bill Simmons follows.
Steps to reproduce:
1. While you are not signed into your own Twitter account, go to a Twitter page and click on the Following module:
2. At this point, you will be redirected to the sign-in flow. Presumably, this is because Twitter doesn’t want guest users (not signed in) to view this information:
3. After sign-in, you should be redirected to the user’s list of handles they are following. However, you are incorrectly redirected to your own Home feed:
Discovered another case of a disparity between a product’s iPhone app and the same product’s Safari mobile web app on the iPhone. I was browsing for some books on the Amazon iPhone app and was curious to see what the Amazon Sales Rank of a particular book was. Everywhere I looked in the product description, I was surprised to see that I could not find it. So I turned to the mobile web app to see if it existed there. Lo and behold, I found the sales rank in the product details section of the mobile web app product page:
Then I returned to the iPhone app to see if I could find it in the same section. Surprisingly, I found the same section with all of the same pieces of information for the book, except for one: the sales rank.
I’m fairly certain that this is a bug and that if Amazon has made the decision to show this piece of information to the user in the mobile web view, there’s no reason not to show the same information in the iPhone app view. Especially since they are showing all other pieces of information (i.e. ISBN numbers, number of pages, shipping weight, etc.) in the same Product Details view.
Assistive touch is a feature in iOS that lets you enter multi-touch gestures using just one finger. This feature is off by default and can be enabled via the iOS settings. Here is what assistive touch looks like in the iPhone:
Recently, I discovered a bug with assistive touch that does not let the user get to Siri from the assistive touch menu while simultaneously in the “multi-tasking” view. Here are the steps to reproduce the bug:
1. Double click the iPhone home button in order to enter the multi-tasking view
2. Touch the assistive touch icon on the screen in order to also enter the assistive touch view
3. Touch the Siri option
Nothing happens – user is not shown Siri. User sees same screen as step (1) above.
User is shown Siri
When you go to set a contact’s birthday in the iPhone date module, you will notice something strange if you go back in time quite a bit. By scrolling the year field as fast as you can, you can relatively easily reach the absolute end of time as it pertains to the iPhone date module. When you do this, you’ll notice something strange. The year “1” repeats twice at the beginning. Instead of the years going 0, 1, 2, 3, 4…, the years go 1, 1, 2, 3, 4…
Originally, I thought that maybe this was due to the module incorrectly repeating the year “1” twice. But this is not what is happening. It actually has the year “0” but it is listed as the year “1”. What do I mean by this? Technically, the year “0” was a leap year but the year “1” wasn’t. So if you go to the first “1” (which was supposed to be “0”), the date module will let you choose the month and day February 29. But if you try to do the same for the second “1”, the date module will not let you.