When signing up to be an “IHEG Insider,” the question “What is your gender?” is asked using a radio button control. The control is presented with two options: “Male” and “Female.” The question is listed as “Required Information” on the signup form.
Radio button controls are the most insistent of all user interface patterns. They force us to choose one from a set of options, on the premise that we will not have more than one answer or that our answer is not “It depends.” Radio buttons are a mutually exclusive input control that user interface designers reserve for cases where the system needs to ask a question that can have only one answer.
My mother and I are trying set up the Photo app to automatically import photos from her phone. Since my father died in June, she has been using her phone much more, including the camera. At family gatherings she takes photos of people, couples, and families. They are some of the best photos, since we are at our most beautiful when smiling at someone we love dearly.
We are trying to log into the iCloud account set up by my father, using Apple’s iForgot service — an unfortunate and insensitive name for our use case.
Our tendency to push edge cases to the margins of interaction design has painful consequences—in this case, after my father died.
Read Design for when there is no “later” on Medium.