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Bad UX: Menu printout frustrating

menu print function start date flexibility print color readability usability user experience UX

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#1 Big Shoulders

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 06:44 AM

Dear Webmaster/Developer/User Interface Designer:

I posted a detailed note in a forum but I suspect that it has yet to make its way to you, so I'm reposting it. While the new site overall is very lovely and offers much in the way of new and improved functionality, one of the key tools -- that worked perfectly fine on the old website, with a couple of tweaks -- is frustrating to say the least. I think the fix can be easily accomplished, which makes it all the more frustrating. Here goes:

I have worked for years on websites and online forms for Fortune 100 companies, as an information architect and content strategist, and I mention this because I want to make it clear that I'm not just complaining about the new menu planner, I'm going to tell you exactly what's wrong with it. And I won't even charge you for this service!

The previous menu planner, BTW, worked just fine. It was scaleable, it enabled flexible start dates, and it printed out in black and white. These are key usability features which I did not fully appreciate until I found them completely lacking in the new planner:
  • You can specify a start date, but the default start date forces the week to start on Sunday. I always see my JC counselor on a Tuesday, and my menu planner used to fit on one page. The first day was Tuesday, and I could scale the entire menu at about 90% of full size and print the whole thing on a single page. The new planner prints on two pages, and it shows Sunday and Monday as blanks. Page 2 shows Sunday and Monday's meals (my Days Six and Seven) and then five blanks. This not only wastes paper, but (worse) makes it impossible to see the whole thing on one page. Scaling it down to get it on one page makes it impossible to read.
  • When printed at full size, the type is tiny, and worse yet, there is no way to specify that you want to print in black and white. So, printed on my laser printer, the menu has very light type. When I printed it out on my color printer, the light blue was very hard to read.
  • I tried taking screen shots of the menu and then importing them into an InDesign document, but it still did not scale very well. It's a poorly designed static grid, with column widths and row heights that do not vary. The result: tiny type again. More importantly, who has time for this? And how many people have InDesign?
  • Trying to generate my second menu this morning, I discovered I couldn't clear the previous week's check marks on the calendar.
  • Then, when I went ahead anyway and selected my breakfasts, clicking "continue" led to nothing. No way to get to lunches or anything else. I finally gave up and made my own list in Word. However, if I want to put it into the previous planner's format, I can create a Word table, but why should I have to do that? It would be missing all the supplemental foods that are included as part of each meal.
In short, the menu planner is a complete bust. This is especially frustrating because you did get it right on the previous iteration.

Please fix this as soon as possible!


That's it. To summarize: flexible start date with no blanks; ability to print on one page in portrait or landscape mode; ability to print in black and white. Thanks for listening.
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#2 TampaJane2

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 03:53 PM

When I finally got my menu to print, I discovered that the meals are all mixed in odd order. For instance, one day, it gave me a chicken sandwich for breakfast (?), meatball sub for lunch and then meatloaf for dinner- no snack. The next day, a breakfast item breakfast (yay-started off good) for breakfast, another breakfast for lunch, then back bean chips for dinner- no snack.
Wow, what a frustrating mess.
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#3 aprilmg

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 04:56 AM

Tools are NOT user friendly. I cannot use.
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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: menu, print function, start date flexibility, print color, readability, usability, user experience, UX

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