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23

This is old research but 10 seconds is bad: http://www.useit.com/papers/responsetime.html from the page: The basic advice regarding response times has been about the same for thirty years [Miller 1968; Card et al. 1991]: •0.1 second is about the limit for having the user feel that the system is reacting instantaneously, meaning that ...


16

Keep in mind that My or Your can be a component of the branding as with MySpace and not contextual as would be Your Cart or My Cart. I would ditch both. Cart Account Wishlist My and Your are an attempt to bring personalization into the product. IMHO it simply adds un-needed fluff and yet another word spread across a product the brain must process. If ...


14

I feel your pain. But fixing something just because it is a bug is not a good enough reason. You have to make sure your fix will not break any other code (not just yours but your clients code that uses your code). If you push out a fix and this breaks every customers system you will have some very disgruntled customers. There are lots of famous examples ...


11

I've also heard the term hallway testing. It's part of the Joel test score.


10

Usually, such sketched prototypes look good as long as no-one has to use it. To convince them, implement a small part as a usable prototype, in two version, one with the sketched skin and one normal. That should be enough to show them that the sketched look is funny for one day or two, but becomes stale soon after. If this doesn't convince them, well, their ...


10

From Robert Harvey's comment I found this interesting quote from C# designer Anders Hejlsberg: Anders Hejlsberg: Most of it was actually usability studies of IDE features. We might ask, "Can people understand that they right click to do this or that?" We did some usability studies for the pure language syntax itself—I think we did some with ...


10

Animations can be an extremely important part of the user interface. They communicate or hint at things a user can do, guide the user through the application or help build up a well defined mental model of the application inside the user's head. Consider the classic iPod interface, where screens slid from side to side to signify the navigation through a ...


9

There's a good book called Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things by Donald A. Norman. The book provides a good framework to describe and understand the less technical aspects of design. The short version is that there are three types of reaction to any design: Visceral - The gut reaction, it's sexy, it's polished, it's ugly. You get ...


9

Well if your IDE supports keybinds then you can either: Bind your mouse directly to functions in the IDE if it recognizes the buttons. Bind your mouse to a keyboard shortcut using external software (like AutoHotkey) and bind that keyboard shortcut in your IDE. Some ideas for binds are: Go to definition (for C/C++ mainly). Collapse current block Google ...


9

More than two seconds without an hour-glass and I'm already pretty skeptical. Different people will have some different expectations but I would expect 10 seconds with no feedback to even acknowledge that I clicked a button or whatever would annoy almost anyone. Whether or not it matters to annoy your users is another question.


9

I would not force an update on a user. First, it tends to happen that someone's "work flow" or "process" becomes dependent on certain behavior of your app. If you change that, it will cause chaos and anarchy and whining to someone's boss that those mean IT people are stopping me from doing work and they need to fix it NOW. Secondly, like you said, ...


8

Honestly if its their application and that is why they want, I would just do it their way. If you wish to try and influence them otherwise, do a mockup of a different UI and show it to them along with your arguments against the sketchy UI. Try and put it in terms they'd understand. For example, instead of saying it would take significant effort to reskin ...


8

A List Apart has a great article on user interface design and sensible forms.


7

I was inspired by a list of 36 login forms to rethink how I went about my form design. A touch of style goes a long way You don't need to make them tiny, larger text is more readable Simple and most importantly clear validation errors / messages There is also a great article on 15+ best practices for form design on AdmixWeb.


7

In my experience, even if you have the best captcha in the world, there are a lot of spammers who are nowadays employing real humans for very low wages to simple visit the site, signup (or whatever) and post their spam 'manually'. So any system that requires you to differentiate between "human" and "bot" is not going to work when faced with an actual human. ...


7

ReCAPTCHA seems to be pretty secure, and will probably outlast any other OCR based CAPTCHA solution. CAPTCHAs are useful when you aren't sure if it's a bot or a human - ie, after the second or third login attempt, or if you allow anonymous commenting. Once a user has authenticated, dump the CAPTCHA. An alternative that hasn't come up yet is the "SAPTCHA".


7

It depends. A little gimmickry can make things more appealing. Look at any fun game: there are often a ton of little gimmicks. And a little more appeal can make the difference between success and failure. But there are three problems with the situation you describe: It sounds like there's no evidence that this gimmick works for users. If it doesn't make ...


7

There are a number of patterns and rules that correspond to usability principles. They aren't as concrete as other patterns, since there is variation in the user interface, think web applications versus desktop applications versus mobile devices versus kiosks, each with their own quirks. Users expect different things from different devices, so part of ...


7

"Usability test" and "User test" seem to be common terms. Both are neutral. If you want to make it explicit that the test subjects have not used the software before, how about "New user test"? I don't think I've heard of anyone actually using the terms you mention, but they are not very professional.


6

What you are asking about is referred to as internationalization (i18n). You would have to consider UI layout to allow text from different languages to fit properly and to allow controls to dynamically shift positions to make room for this text. You would also have to account for locale-specific date and currency formats. If your application requires a ...


6

Start by bookmarking http://ux.stackexchange.com/ If you are concerned about UI design then start by creating some custom controls. Think of something that you think is not possible on one platform (like an awesome looking control on WinForms) and try to design it yourself. I've learned a lot this way. More you experience more you learn. I also recommend ...


5

Using honeypot fields is/was a method to reduce spam at no real usability cost. Here's an article describing how it works with some CSS magic, and while they noted that its effectiveness diminished, it'll still catch some bots. There are probably also more advanced techniques besides CSS (read: JS) that can boost the effectiveness of honeypots.


5

It's not uncommon to store user credentials in a file. It is common to use a text file where each line is a delimited set of user credentials, like the following. user123:s8Z6dRBXxNHsh+qBLz1Tuw== user789:EQrcOUm6Wau+VuBX8g+IPg== The format is not important, but it is good practice to avoid storing clear-text passwords. The credentials above use a ...


4

I'd say, if you can not use the additional space by adding more information/controls, i would say make the existing content and control bigger. Why? Because according to Fitt's law bigger things are easier to use. Maybe also ask on http://ui.stackexchange.com/ or http://graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/


4

Anything by Luke Wroblewski and I would seriously recommend getting his book Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks. The link I posted to Luke's website contains all his writings, which is not focused just on form design. The following link is a collection of all the articles that deal with forms - 154 articles.


4

I would suggest picking up a copy of Don't Make Me Think. It's an excellent beginners guide to usability that goes over some important fundamentals.


4

If by language usability you mean how the syntax and semantics of a programming language influences productivity, some studies have been conducted to evaluate the average productivity (time needed to implement a given program and quality of the solution) of programmers using several languages. You can find some information (with citations of further ...


4

What about something as simple as "Beginner Test" or "New User Test". Usability testing could mean if the UI is good for an experienced user not just for the first time someone sits down with the system.



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