Usability: Degraded

Recently I’ve come across two cases where it appears in the interest of usability, we’ve gone too far and invaded what I thought used to be “boundaries” for UX, and proper accessibility practice.

1. Google Hijacking My Down Arrow

Have you ever gone to a google search result page and tried to use your down arrow on the keyboard to bump down your scroll?  AND NOTHING HAPPENS?  They’ve hijacked your down arrow and given you what’s been affectionately named (by the internets) “little blue arrow” which is a cursor for each search result.  Each press of your down arrow will move this cursor to the next result.  Before: One keypress of down arrow would show roughly 10-20% more page “below the fold”. Now: I have to press my down arrow as many times as there are results showing “above the fold” to see more of the page…

I don’t know if this is some kind of conspiracy to increase views of top ranking search terms or just a bad attempt to “improve” usability, I’d rather it be the former in my book.

http://www.google.com/#sclient=psy&hl=en&source=hp&q=google+hijacking+down+arrow&pbx=1&oq=google+hijacking+down+arrow&aq=f&aqi=q-n1&aql=&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=2001l6244l0l6343l30l18l1l4l4l0l267l1988l4.5.4l13l0&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=996a5a2e91f3c54d&biw=1086&bih=723

2. Sites are copy-jacking me

Yes it appears the current definition of “copyjacking” has something to do with copyright stuff, but that’s stupid.  So I’m on a news article, and I copy a line of text:

The vote had no legal bearing on the state’s mega-project

I paste it in order to tweet something and this is what I get:

The vote had no legal bearing on the state’s mega-project
Read more: http://www.seattlepi.com/local/transportation/article/On-Ref-1-Seattle-says-build-the-tunnel-2076294.php#ixzz1VIzuHvAE

Not just text that I didn’t copy, but its got two whole line breaks, blowing up my little tweet window…  Even worse than Seattle City Council wasting our time on votes and referendums that have “no legal bearing”

Based on my scientific Google research the practice seems fairly new, and the culprit on the site I was viewing was Tynt, as noted in the post below:

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1203082/injecting-text-when-content-is-copied-from-web-page

I haven’t had time to crack open the js, but if they were also tracking what I copied it would be a great opportunity for a little #writealetter hacking to tell them what I think.  Maybe this atrocity will warrant general analytics-spamming, we’ll see who else is on my list.

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