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Feedback Loop: UI annoyances, remotes and speed-reading apps!

Frank Spinillo, @frank_spin
August 30, 2014
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Happy Saturday! Welcome to another edition of Feedback Loop! This week we're talking about those minor user interface quirks that just really grind our gears. Once you're done letting the hate flow, find out whether or not speed-reading apps are worth your time and let people know if you actually use your smartphone as a remote. So get comfy and grab some coffee. Then tell us what works for you and get some advice from fellow readers.

What seemingly small UI design flaws bother you the most?

TgD is giving Windows Phone 8.1 a trial run and, while he's been enjoying it, he has one major annoyance: the messaging interface. He finds the placement of the send button "brutal," causing frequent interaction issues. It's driving him up a wall, and he's wondering if anyone else has hang-ups with the apps they use on a regular basis.

Have you replaced your remotes with a smartphone?

First Logitech started rolling out the Hub; then Samsung and HTC started bundling IR blasters into their phones. Now even Roku and Microsoft's Xbox team are making dedicated remote experiences. But here's the thing, I'm just not getting the point of it all. Losing physical buttons is my biggest concern. I feel like I'll always be looking down at my phone or tablet. I'm curious to know if anyone has given up their physical remote in favor of a virtual one. And if so, how is it working out?

How would you fix Swarm/Foursquare?

Kris has been a longtime user of Foursquare, and she's seriously annoyed with the recent unbundling of check-ins. She's expressed her own frustrations, but is looking to hear what others think. If you've made the move, what does Foursquare need to do keep you from jumping ship to Yelp!?

Are speed-reading apps all they're cracked up to be?

Everyone is making speed-reading apps. (Guess they're the new weather widget or to-do list.) They claim to improve memory retention and, of course, leave you with more free time. But, the question is, do they really work? We're curious to know if you've given any of them a shot and whether or not you've liked the experience.

Other discussions you may also like:

That's all this week! Want to talk about your favorite gadget or have a burning question about technology? Register for an Engadget account today, visit the Engadget forums and start a new discussion.

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