The recent addition of Steam achievements to Borderlands encouraged me to fire it up and see how many popped up at once (~20). I thought I might blow up a few people while I was there, and I was reminded of how poor the interface is.
Maybe it works better on a console. The very first time I used one of the in-game menus, it felt like a console game ported to a PC incompletely. Menus required some odd, perverse combination of mouse and keyboard, screens that should have accepted either and instead asked for one but only responded to the other. At no point did I memorize which buttons brought up the different menus, instead finding one or two and then clicking between menus once the window was open.
Coming back after a break, I have no idea which button is for melee. “Had?” No, I did not guess it, though I was insufficiently motivated for much trial and error. I normally check that via the screen to edit keyboard controls. Oh, I can’t do that? At least G for grenade is intuitive enough. I can look it up, and I presume that it was in the tutorial, but once I am in-game there is nothing to suggest it. Or maybe there is something, but finding that is unintuitive, which is the same problem one level up.
I am reading The Design of Everyday Things, and I taken by the view that user error is usually design error. If your design does not lead users to the right action, that is an interface problem not PEBKAC. Some things are radically complex, but punching imaginary people in the face should not take planning or research.