I can bring you a cookie. Would you like some asparagus?

I was web browsing this morning, and I clicked on a video link on a website, and IE popped up a little dialog that said.

You have clicked on a video link. Internet Explorer can play this in a separate window, which will allow you to keep browsing the web while the link plays.

Do you want to play this video in Internet Explorer?


I thought it was UI design 101 that when you told somebody about an option and then gave them a choice, the choice should not be phrased as THE EXACT OPPOSITE to the option you just told them about. Because, unless you read the question very closely, you will end up choosing the wrong thing. And, of course, you had the “remember my choice” option checked, so now you’re stuck with the setting.

I had to read that dialog three times before I realized that I needed to click ‘No’, but I know that I’ve done it wrong before.

[Note to readers. I’m actually a fan of asparagus, but you have to admit it’s at least close to an anti-cookie]

Comments (10)

  1. Jon Cortez says:

    Celery for me is more anti-cookie than asparagus 🙂

  2. I’d agree with Jon, though Asparagus would be closely behind there, somewhere. Of course – i’m also slighly allergic to celery, so that might have something to do with it. 8)

    (note: i also like asparagus. love too cook the stuff w/ my home made pasta.)

  3. Stephane says:

    What about installing a downloader to get rid of all that?

  4. Catatonic says:

    I think "separate window" means a separate window within Internet Explorer – the explorer bar. But no matter how they ask the question, it’s still confusing. The Yes/No buttons should say something like "Play With Media Player" / "Play With Internet Explorer". Or better yet, ditch the explorer bar and don’t ask the question in the first place.

  5. +1 for the last suggestion (who WANTS the media bar????)

  6. Keith Patrick says:

    To make that thing even more annoying, I’ve found that it will often ask you repeatedly about how you want to play videos, even after saying that you want to always apply your first choice.

  7. Tom C says:

    A nice feature to the already *free* IE <Thx Microsoft> would be to give some program loading and activex controls management options.

    Personally what drives me crazy are the "do you want to set your home page to yadda.com?"

    I tend to never go back to those sites.

  8. IM says:

    I also suffer[ed] from the same bug as Keith Patrick. Very annoying. Firefox doesnt do it though, so no worries.

  9. Hi, I was just looking through my server logs and saw referrals from your site (I’m the executive producer of Muffin Man). I agree; (1) I really don’t like the Media Player to EVER play in the browser, I always select it to play standalone. And (2) the few times I’ve accidentally made the wrong choice, I had a heck of a time trying to figure out how to fix it. Argh. Luckily, I work in the same division as the Media Player people, I’ll foward your comments to them.