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What’s the Worst that could Happen with Poorly Worded Menu Options?

Choices on mobile apps (also on any app) need to be worded appropriately so as not to cause any confusion in the user.
This menu option on a sleep tracking app seemed to be a clean way to do it. A simple line that explains each option when selected.

What’s the worst that could happen with poorly framed menu options?
Back in 2007, I got my first credit card. And the one I would default to even when I had more cards. Over the past 13 odd years, I suppose the card company and I benefited from the service.

Then sometime during the pandemic, RBI laid down new rules for debit and credit cards, making users manually opt-in for availability of different types of transactions (online, POS, international), and set limits for the same. I downloaded the mobile app this bank offered. However, I faced 4 challenges with it:

  • The way the choices were worded created some ambiguity (on whether we had opted in or out of a choice)
  • Touch selection was slightly glitchy, you sometimes had to click more than once to select/deselect
  • If you changed any card limits, you would receive an OTP to confirm the changes
  • There was a delay in receiving the OTP. Every time.

These four challenges together, created quite a frustrating experience. As you firstly wouldn’t be aware if the option read a choice you wanted to opt for, or the opposite. And to check it, you would have to go through the motions of generating an OTP, confirming changes, and then seeing if the change reflected what you wanted, or the exact opposite.

The result. I stopped using the card. For starters, simply because the choice options created a confusion in me, and verifying each one of those choices took a longer route of glitchy clicks, waiting for the OTP, and then waiting to see what change had occurred.

If you can’t phrase choices in an easily understandable manner, something simple like the explanatory sentence or two for each choice would go a long way in retaining former loyal customers.

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