Opinion: Reset Buttons Suck

Have you ever filled out an online form only to lose it all by a poorly placed reset button? Why do these buttons even exist? I can’t think of a time I’ve ever filled in a whole form only to say, “hey, I didn’t really want any of that information, let me erase it all at once.” Luckily in recent years it seems less and less forms have these annoying buttons but they still exist. I’m calling for everyone to check their forms right now. Go ahead, I’ll wait… If you’ve got a reset button on your form, it’s time to reconsider that choice.

A reset button is just a bad user experience. A user can easily change the information they’ve entered without having to delete it all in one click. I’d say almost no one intentionally hits that reset button. It’s probably an accidental click while thinking it was the submit button. Having that button in place is doing more harm than good. Do your users a favor and leave off that reset button. That way you don’t have to needlessly frustrate your users and you have the added benefit of a cleaner, less cluttered form.

Project: University Theatre 2012 Season Site

At work I’m often playing within strict guidelines. The university is moving everyone into the same look and feel on the web as part of their massive branding effort. It makes sense but it can be dull when you’re working on it day after day. Sometimes it feels like I’m just going through the motions.

University Theatre Season website screenshot

That’s why I was so excited to have a project that breaks the mold. The University Theatre at Western Michigan University was interested in a website to feature their upcoming shows for the new season. Luckily they fall under one of the areas I work for so I was happy to oblige. The overall design of the posters and other materials were done by interns in the Design Center (oh the memories). They were a great jumping off point for a new website.

I tried to keep the overall “awaken” theme the interns had come up with in their work but translate it to the web. I filled the site with the pertinent information about each show and how to get tickets. It is an extremely simple site and there were still some stiff requirements but compared to the templates I usually work in all day, it was creative field day. It’s nice to break away from the constraints every once in a while and think creatively. Make sure you explore the University Theatre 2012 Season Site and let me know what you think.

Learning German

A few months back I posted a bucket list of 30 things to do before 30. After a little on-again-off-again Duolingo I finally got serious about number 11, “Actively pursue speaking German.” This week I started GER 1000: Basic German.

Wie Geht's German textbookIt feels weird to go back to class (I graduated in spring 2009) but at the same time kind of refreshing. I like learning. I’m a fairly decent self-teacher but certain things (guitar, another language) need more than I am able to provide by myself. I’m glad I’m finally getting serious about learning German. I’m sure I won’t be fluent after just one class but it should move me along faster than the sporadic time I was spending teaching myself online.

So why German? Well, for starters my dad’s mother was born and grew up there. In addition to the family connection I’ve always thought it sounded cool. My time in Switzerland further ignited my wish to learn it. I figured now that I’m working at a university it seemed like a perfectly possible thing to do, so I did.