My six-year-old daugh­ter was play­ing on Strudel Doo­dle this morn­ing. It’s basi­cal­ly an online draw­ing appli­ca­tion where users can sub­mit their draw­ings for a prize.

So my daugh­ter arrived at the page and clicked on “GO DOODLE!”.

Then she clicked on the redun­dant “START DOODLING” but­ton on the fol­low­ing page.

Then she clicked on the “START DOODLING!” but­ton on the next page.

When she was done draw­ing, she clicked on the “SUBMIT DOODLE” but­ton. Doing so asked her to fill out a form.

The first ques­tion asked for her ini­tials. At first she was going to enter her first and last ini­tial. I told her that it doesn’t say that; it asks for her ini­tials. She start­ed to enter all four of her ini­tials (she has two mid­dle names), but it forced her to enter no more than three. She kept hit­ting “Shift+S” to get that last ini­tial in and couldn’t fig­ure out why it wasn’t going in. There was no indi­ca­tion any­where that the form would only accept three char­ac­ters, nor was there any noti­fi­ca­tion that she was enter­ing more char­ac­ters than was allowed. If I wasn’t there to tell her the prob­lem, she wouldn’t have realised what it was. I told her to enter her first and last ini­tials.

The rest of the form was pret­ty easy to use. Before she pressed the “Con­tin­ue »” but­ton, how­ev­er, she read the reminder that stat­ed the con­test is open to chil­dren 8–12. she thought that meant she couldn’t save her doo­dle. Despite the fact that the but­ton had said “sub­mit doo­dle” she inter­pret­ed that to mean she would save it by press­ing on it. Now the reminder seemed to say she could not save it because she was not between eight and twelve.

I told her that since it allowed her to enter her birth year (1999 instead of 1997), then she should be able to press the “con­tin­ue” but­ton. When she pressed it, how­ev­er, a red pop-up win­dow came up with a warn­ing sound and the words” Sor­ry! Please enter a three-let­ter nick­name.” She had no idea why it was telling her to enter a nick­name when it nev­er asked her for one. She had no idea where to enter this nick­name. I told her it was telling her she couldn’t use just her first and last ini­tials. She need­ed to arbi­trar­i­ly choose between her sec­ond ini­tial and third ini­tial. She need­ed to deter­mine which of her two mid­dle names she pre­ferred more.

She gave up and sim­ple pressed “Back to Doo­dler”.

About Kim Siever

I am a copy­writer and copy­ed­i­tor. I blog on writ­ing tips most­ly, but I some­times throw in my thoughts about run­ning a small busi­ness.

Fol­low me on Twit­ter at @hotpepper.

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