I saw a few people slightly nervous around certain activities in Excel in some of my classes.
Eventually I work out their concern – some of the ‘buttons’ seem to behave differently each time they click them. The inconsistent behaviour unsettled some beginning level users (that alleged target group again)
The Pivot button is just one example – there are plenty of others.
Sometimes when the user hovers over it the bottom bit goes pale, and the top dark,
sometimes the opposite happened. Sometimes they instantly get a pivot, sometimes they get a drop down choice between pivot tabe and pivot chart. For a beginning user this unpredictability is confusing, and for the less confident somewhat scary.
With experience it becomes clear that the lower part has an arrow and hints that it is a drop down, the top is a normal button.
But why oh why did they make it all look like one control, with intermittent behaviour??
And of course it is only certain controls, many are just normal buttons leading to yet further confusion.
In fairness the Fail UI team aren’t the only ones doing this, WordPress have buttons that magically change into drop downs when you click them too.
So this ‘feature’ confuses beginners, and as an experienced user it just annoys me, because I could have had 4 controls of choice in the same space if it was a proper interface. (or had the same 2 in half the space leaving more for my actual work – I once worked on a spreadsheet that was bigger than 20 cols and 30 rows – imagine that!).
Somebody somewhere must like it, is it you?