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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, Contributing Editor Josh Tyson is a Denver-based content specialist focused on UX, AI, and conversational design. He is the co-host of N9K, a podcast from the future, and stays balanced by drawing on the powers of family, skateboarding, yoga, and art.

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