Keeping a consistent look and feel within an application. For questions about whether to break consistency and when or how to foster a sense of consistency.

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69
votes
10answers
16k views

Why is sugar not in a shaker?

At most restaurants that I've seen, the middle of the table is set up with: One salt shaker One pepper shaker A small dish of a few sugar packets Why isn't sugar put in a shaker like salt and ...
26
votes
1answer
547 views

How to handle “consistency” when the meaning of the word isn't…consistent?

We are currently beta testing a new top bar design on meta for the Stack Exchange network. There is an ongoing discussion about "consistency" and the top bar behavior when one clicks on an element. ...
25
votes
5answers
2k views

Adaptive UI vs. recognizable UI

I'm reading a thesis which discusses Task-focused user interfaces. They discuss an application which adapts/filters views based on relevant items determined by an interaction history. They prove their ...
21
votes
7answers
3k views

Should the order of add / edit / delete buttons be based on the frequency of their use?

In our application we have several places where users see a list of items and can add, edit or delete an item. For some of these lists adding new items is probably the most frequent used ...
16
votes
5answers
3k views

Why does the caps lock key have a down arrow as its icon?

The caps lock key has a downwards arrow like this as its icon on most keyboards: Isn't that hugely counter intuitive and inconsistent with the way the Shift key is designed like? One would imagine ...
15
votes
6answers
789 views

Consistent UI experience

Shouldn't a user interface be as consistent as possible? I believe when a user uses an interface, he experiences certain behavior from the interface, and tries to couple those experiences to the rest ...
15
votes
3answers
845 views

Is breaking established web conventions in order to be consistent across multiple devices an unexpected (and therefore harmful) user experience?

As a good working example: The standard convention is for mega menus to appear on hover (see sites such as play.com and next.co.uk). This fits with Jakob's Law of the Web User Experience which ...
12
votes
5answers
939 views

Should I be more worried about creating a consitent UI among platforms or creating native expiriences? [duplicate]

I am starting to develop for all three major mobile platforms (Android, iOS, and Windows UWP), and have run into a UX issue a few times. Each platform has it's own design guide. Android has Material, ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

What is best practice for consistency across different products?

We have a debate in the organization (a small startup) on what should be consistent across our two web based products. However, the target user group is different for each product and the use cases ...
12
votes
5answers
776 views

Is it okay to use breadcrumb navigation on some pages and not on others?

Breadcrumbs would be redundant for some of my pages and quite pointless, but effective on others which are a bit deeper. Is it bad practice to only implement breadcrumbs on some of the pages?
11
votes
4answers
8k views

Should my menus drop down on hover + on click or just on click?

I have a web application that currently has menus that drop down 'on hover'. This is obviously an issue on tablets, etc. where there is no hover equivalent. So, I need to add an 'on click' ...
11
votes
2answers
794 views

Skeuomorphism or OS-consistency?

Skeuomorphic UIs should give the user something that looks like a familiar object, presumably making it easier for them to understand what it should do and how it should be used. Even if the UI isn't ...
10
votes
8answers
380 views

Name for a rule about re-using terminology

Does the rule "Don't use the same name/word to refer to two different things" have a name, and, if so, what is that name?
10
votes
2answers
734 views

Why is low contrast between active and inactive window title bars considered a good thing?

It seems like recently, there is a movement toward applications forcing a color scheme on the user as well as using custom-drawn windowing elements, particularly title bars, with very low contrast ...
9
votes
6answers
525 views

Which is more important, less mouse distance to travel or visual consistency?

I have an interface that I am currently working on that asks the user to make a choice of a single item. These items are divided into 3 separate categories and the client has insisted that each ...
9
votes
3answers
242 views

Having two different label alignments in one website / application

I've come to learn that label alignments have their purposes: top-aligned / right-aligned for faster completion (usually for forms asking common information) while left-aligned for slowing down ...
8
votes
5answers
877 views

Different styling for different tooltips on a single page?

I am working on a web application, and we are focusing very much on the consistency of the look&feel. When we are designing tooltip styles, we can see there is the 'plain style' tooltip and all ...
8
votes
4answers
587 views

Behavior of close button and X

If a window has both a Close button and an X on the upper right corner, should clicking each of these have the same behavior? I am working with a vendor file transfer application. There is a windows ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Is it useful to have all the input controls in a form the same width? [duplicate]

All the input controls are the same size in this question about form design: Why might right aligned field labels be better? My question is if does it help with something, or it is just a matter of ...
7
votes
4answers
815 views

Can a button be 'secondary' on one page but 'primary' on another?

For example, an "Edit" button. In most pages, it is a secondary button ("Submit" may be the primary one). But there can be a case where in "Edit" is primary action for the page. Is it good practice ...
7
votes
1answer
299 views

When designing a form, should I favor consistency over optimal usability for each input?

I was reading this question and this thought occurred to me: When I am designing medium or longer length forms in a web interface I often favor consistency in choosing the input mediums for the ...
6
votes
3answers
17k views

Which way locks? / Which way is locked?

This is in regards to every lock that turns 90-degrees. Meaning, not combination locks and unconventional locks. Let's just restrict it to: Deadlocks Door locks The keyhole on the other side of a ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is Facebook using two Form styles in their homepage?

I was under the impression that using two different styles for a form was not visually attracting and confusing for users. Yet a big internet player seems to bee using a different style for their ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Multiple similar tables with varying column widths

When multiple forms are displayed on a page that display the same type of data, grouped into categories, is it OK for the columns in each table to be varied or should fixed widths be used to enforce ...
5
votes
2answers
291 views

Drop down consistency needed on navigation on site header?

I am building a website which has a horizontal navigation in the header. Only some of the top level menu items sub-pages, so there are only drop downs on a few of the navigation options. I didn't ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Jumping progress bar or running process indicator?

I'm developing a process with a predefined number of steps to complete so while process is running I can know how far the process has gotten and how much is there still to be done. My process ...
5
votes
2answers
236 views

How to make a application with several different user controls feel more unified?

We have an application where we're combining several different user controls into one main window. About 3 of the controls are developed outside our group, so we really don't have much control over ...
4
votes
1answer
87 views

Should a sidebar containing options or properties be placed on the left or right in an app?

I'm writing a tasks app for Ubuntu Touch. In the home page, I have a list of projects in a sidebar on the left, with a list of tasks on the right: When a user clicks a task, he is taken to a page ...
4
votes
3answers
214 views

Is lack of redundancy or visual consistency more important?

I was checking out at a convenience store recently and the card reader asked if the the amount of money it was going to charge me matched my expectations. It looked something like this: I laughed ...
3
votes
4answers
103 views

How does the choice of transaction models ACID or BASE affect UX design?

How does the choice of database transaction models: ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Duratbility) or BASE (Basic Availability, Soft State and Eventual Consistency) affect UX design? Can ...
3
votes
3answers
127 views

Should I focus on consistency or flexibility for user experience design?

I am building a complex system to manage a bunch of data. I am struggling in whether to focus on consistency or flexibility. Or maybe its just the best practice in how these systems are suppose to be ...
3
votes
5answers
2k views

Inconsistencies in hamburger menu direction a mobile vs desktop problem?

This question isn't about placement of the hamburger icons nor is it about the usefulness. I've noticed on several websites/apps that the direction in which the hamburger icon opens a menu differs. ...
3
votes
1answer
166 views

Consistency in navigation

Is it going against best practice to have some items in the main navigation clickable and other items not clickable they just reveal a drop down? Should the pages that reveal a drop down have a ...
3
votes
1answer
300 views

Save session state on search option change or after getting the search results?

I have a widget that helps looking for posts in my site. Here's a picture of the widget (site's not online yet) I want to use html5 session storage to store the widget options among pages. When a ...
3
votes
3answers
402 views

Best way to present toggles for sharing on other social networks?

I'm trying to come up with a way to display toggles for whether you want to share your status on Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr. This is intended for a web application. I looked at a couple of other ...
3
votes
5answers
186 views

Contextual sidebar and consistency

I am designing a website service for coin collectors and have a question regarding navigation. The control flow is as follows: User selects country (from map or an alphabetized list). User selects a ...
2
votes
5answers
1k views

What should I do about my save button inconsistency across tabs?

The user profile in the app I'm building is across a few tabs, however, I've had a situation where I feel the expected save functionality will be inconsistent across tabs. Most of my tabs look ...
2
votes
1answer
276 views

Complex Forms and Data Consistency

I have a complex data input view that you can see in this mockup: As you can see I have n Parameters (~20) by n Catgories (~3-5), and each parameter has a pretty complex set of inputs. Example ...
2
votes
3answers
709 views

Font Size Consistency

How important is font size consistency between pages on a website. I have a site with about 80 pages, but some have only a few sentences; Is it important to maintain font size on these pages vs ...
2
votes
4answers
113 views

Support consistency or primary user journey?

Here's my question. Should a button with an important action such as "Preview" always have the same visual appearance and poisitioning or should it change according to the primary user journey? Let'...
2
votes
1answer
165 views

How worried should I be about action consistency across multiple pages?

I'm working on part of a redesign for a big, enterprise web application. This part has the user managing a bunch of settings that govern how the rest of the application is used. These screens follow ...
2
votes
1answer
47 views

Consistency or best ui control?

I'm working on an app where there are multiple pages where there are a range 2-6 choices of a specific filter. Is it better to use the same control (dropdown) since for each page for consistency or ...
2
votes
4answers
68 views

Can you have too many product images on a product page?

We have an ability to make original high quality product images for most of our products. We're selling handheld radios which are used often so it's important to show people the design of a product. ...
2
votes
2answers
88 views

Layout changing without user control

I am having this idea pushed at work where the layout of information should change dependent on the amount of different items we have to display. Let me be specific: If up to 12 we should show the ...
2
votes
1answer
193 views

User interface consistency: adding print function inside a popup window

I have a tabbed program which is shown in the screenshot below which manages activities in a calendar. Activities can also contain shared documents and attachments which can be viewed selecting an ...
2
votes
0answers
39 views

Should toggling icon indicate current status or new status? [duplicate]

I'm working on a data-mgmnt app and came across this deeply philosophical question: I have an icon to represent if a record is locked or not. And if the record is not locked, it can be locked by ...
1
vote
2answers
48 views

Should different field types have instructions that are formatted differently?

The development team (which includes me) and the QA team were having a conversation about the formatting of tips for user creation on the enrollment page of our application. Some members of the team ...
1
vote
3answers
216 views

iTunes, iOS and Apple inconsistent about GB vs GiB [closed]

Does anyone know of the story behind this specific UI? I mean I get the base 2 vs base 10 math but whichever route you pick, shouldn't there be consistency? Or is there a story behind this? 2^30 vs ...
1
vote
2answers
37 views

How to avoid datepicker to ensure keyboard flow and still maintaining consistency across the app?

There are some features in my app which have high frequency of usage and the task involving those features are expected to be completed very fast. These features involve kind of serial data entry ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

Filter vs Page Tabs?

Any UX issues, mainly on consistency, on mixing “filter based tabs” and “page based tabs” in a reporting system? Filter Tabs: In the below example, the content columns will remain the same however it ...