Recently a very bad trend took the industry by storm. Instead of making tasks easier for the users to achieve, the main goal of this trend is to make them harder. Occasionally designers will make an error and just overlook some problem with the interface, but this trend denies interface on purpose.
I'm afraid I can't let you do that Dave.
Twitter App for iPhone is one of the best examples of interface denial. In the recent "dickbar" update, Twitter made changes in the Direct Message system. However, these changes include interface denial for what were previously common tasks users were doing during their day-to-day Twitter use.
Adding images from Camera or Photos to Direct Messages was denied, as well as shortening URLs. The interface no longer supports those features directly.
But if you type Direct Message through New Tweet window by using prefix "D username" you will have access to the entire interface.
D gpeuc Look at all those options
I can let you do that Dave through New Tweet.
Apparently some users did not figure out that those images and URLs sit on publicly available services (such as TwitPic and Bit.ly), and had some privacy issues with it. So instead of explaining or warning those ignorant users, Twitter just removed the interface. They are not solving the problem, just denying the interface.
Apple Email App
Apple is no stranger to interface denial as well. Nice example is found in the process of emailing a photo. Users can choose to email photos through Photos App, and they will appear in the new mail. But if users go through Email App first, and try to add images in that newly composed email – the interface just lacks options. It is possible to copy/paste images from Photos into that new email message, but this is all just jumping through the hoops.
Photos - Email Photo - Done.
There should be an interface option to insert objects into new email message which are guaranteed to be found in iOS. Photos and Notes at least.
"Insert" option Photoshopped™
Once again, users know they can perform a task (email a photo), but they have to do it through a preset path. Other paths will lead to denied interface.
Interface denial is one of the biggest User Experience killers. Users know they can perform a certain task; however they also know they will have to run errands in order to perform them. This knowledge bores through users like a worm bores through wood, leaving a rotten trail.
Sometimes it is understandable why certain interface elements are omitted, however denying interface on purpose is just inexcusable. While designing your product, be it real or digital, do not deny your users the interface to do common tasks making those tasks harder.