I took the following screenshot from the website of my credit card company. I was at the website trying to see if the payment I had made yesterday had been effected.
What is not quite right in the picture?
Would it not be better to tell me (the user) right away that if I use PayNet (which I always do), I cannot see my payment history through this interface? That, if I want to find out the status of my PayNet payment, I would probably need to call up customer service?
How about the following picture?
Is it not simpler, smaller, clearer? Does it not communicate upfront about what it can do and what it cannot?
Now, if only the designer who created the user interface had approached the interface as a user would have...
What is the point in telling me AFTER I have selected the dates , clicked Go, and waited for a few minutes, that I cannot view my payment history if I paid through PayNet?
Website users have a short attention span and do not read the entire page from top to bottom before they begin doing the task at hand. They quickly scan for the numbered steps, and start off following the instructions step-by-step. If the prerequisites (or, limitations) are not stated before the numbered list begins, the users can only get frustrated. Like I did.