Bad keyboard shortcuts hurt productivity, leading to $650MM lost in worldwide productivity every week

Well I just made up the stat but the guy who put Ctrl + W (close window) next to Ctrl + X (cut) obviously didn’t know people would write in a browser. I just wasted 10 minutes, by having to write the previous post twice. A big usability problem for browser-based publishing.

Of course you don’t want your browser to throw a pop-up at you every time you close it, but how do you make it aware that there was something to save in a specific window? Would some client-side scripting work? Where is OS-based “undo” when you need it?
Webloggers beware: post your longer posts often while you’re typing them, or fear death by tunga.

Update: a kind reader reminds me that, um, well, this is only an issue on the French keyboard layout! It reduces the worldwide weekly productivity loss to 25 cents, the fall of the Euro against the US dollar and Q3 seasonality being taken into account. But it’s still a serious usability issue for me 🙂

Webloggers that use a French keyboard beware: think about your posts before you publish them, or fear death by ridiculousness.

01/04/01 update: this was in fact an old rant.

02/09/01 update: Ev knows but doesn’t offer much comfort.

04/28/01 update: with the proper interfaces, desktop apps can plug into server-based publishing environments.

12/10/01 update: Joel Spolsky, Working on CityDesk, Part Five (on having decided to go for a Windows GUI instead of a browser-based app).

02/06/05 update: years later, still a legitimate rant.

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