UI Horror: Birthdays

By Eric

Last year I wrote about my dislike for cell phones. Despite that, I actually have one now. Maybe I'll write more about that at some point, but I was just recently reminded (irony to be revealed later) of a particularly sloppy user experience associated with adding birthdays to contacts and I couldn't help rant a little.

This is Windows Mobile I'm talking about (version 6), and the feature is the ability to enter someone's birthday in their contact entry. When you do this, it automatically adds an all-day event in the calendar application. Ooh, cross-application interoperability!

There's only one problem: Newly added calendar items automatically get a reminder 15 minutes before the start. When does someone's birthday start? Midnight, of course. So, by entering a birthday, you're inadvertently scheduling yourself opportunity to celebrate it at 11:45 PM the night before! Since I use my phone as my alarm clock, it's right there on the nightstand so I'm sure not to miss it.

By the way, I hope you had a nice birthday, Todd.