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The Adolescent Semantics of Excel #wtfUX

by Josh Tyson
1 min read
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Excel: “Is it possible the file was moved, renamed or deleted?” User: “OK”

This piping hot slice of wtfUX comes to us from Kevin Cropper, a project manager with the Peace Corps in Washington, D.C. He’s running Microsoft Office 2013 on Windows 7 Enterprise and encounters this semantically stilted error message when opening Excel.

Excel's bad semantics

“Is it possible the file was moved, renamed or deleted?” he reiterates. “Typically, I’d want to answer that with something like ‘Yes, it is possible,’ or ‘No, it is right there.’ But is ‘OK’ a viable alternative? Maybe if you are a non-committal teenager speaking to your parent.”

Cropper says that when he clicks OK, the message goes away, not to return until he closes and opens Excel again.

Keep these coming. Send them to us via Twitter or Facebook using the hastag #wtfUX or email them to: [email protected] with “#wtfUX” in the subject line. Include as much context as you can, so we get a full understanding of what the f%*k went wrong. Illustration of goofy adolescent courtesy Shutterstock.

post authorJosh Tyson

Josh Tyson, Josh Tyson is the co-author of the first bestselling book about conversational AI, Age of Invisible Machines. He is also the Director of Creative Content at OneReach.ai and co-host of both the Invisible Machines and N9K podcasts. His writing has appeared in numerous publications over the years, including Chicago Reader, Fast Company, FLAUNT, The New York Times, Observer, SLAP, Stop Smiling, Thrasher, and Westword. 

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