User Friendliness, Where Art Thou?

First I'll have to apologize for the long absence. I've been too caught up in - guess what - World of Warcraft. It's every bit as addictive as I imagined and I've spent most of my spare time playing that game since I started playing it last week.

Now.. let's get back to the issue at hand. Lately I've been working a lot as an office assistant (or something like that) which involves using a lot of different office programs - some worse than others - but they're all bad!

One program I've started to use is called ESS (Employee Self Service) which is a web based program that all government owned firms in Norway have to use. The concept is that every employee has to register things like their own contact information and when they're absent from work in this system. The problem is that it's just plain counter intuitive - here's one example I'd like to share with you:

To the left you've got your main menu and to the right you've got the currently selected action. If you look at the picture you'll see I've selected inbox (marked with a red rectangle) - but what might be a bit surprising is that the inbox selection contains both the inbox, the outbox, your personal message archive and the trash can - so to get to the outbox you've got to select the inbox.. intuitive? I don't think so!

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