widely accepted and understood ways of presenting information and interaction opportunities in a UI.

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160
votes
21answers
15k views

Save icon, is the floppy disk icon dead?

This Twitter post sparked me to ask the question: totally! RT @damienguard: Dear UI designers everywhere. Stop using floppy disk icons for save. Too many people have no idea what it is now. ...
155
votes
17answers
10k views

Should a toggle button show its current state or the state to which it will change?

I have a quick question about buttons that toggle between two states. (Think Play/Pause, or Shuffle/Regular Play.) As the title says, should the toggle show it's current state or the state to which it ...
80
votes
12answers
5k views

Why don't we auto-save for users instead of having them save manually?

With the advent of Apple moving to auto-saving in its newest release Lion, should everyone start adopting the convention of auto-saving? At first it is definitely awkward and the user can feel like ...
51
votes
6answers
6k views

Why don't ATMs give you cash before your card?

I live in Australia, so this might not apply worldwide, but here, when withdrawing money, the ATM will give me back my bank card, then several seconds later the cash comes out. This typically leads ...
40
votes
5answers
5k views

Do “promo codes” or “coupon codes” do more harm than good?

My clients seem to love coupon and promo codes, but I've recently become very skeptical of them. When I'm shopping there's times I'll see a promo code field and I'll wonder off to other sites to find ...
22
votes
8answers
5k views

How to tell the user his login credentials are incorrect?

When a user has entered incorrect details into a login form, is it better to tell them: The username or password you have entered is invalid. or The user name you have entered is invalid (for ...
21
votes
9answers
1k views

Isn’t the FAQ label obsolete by now?

Don’t get me wrong in the beginning of reading this. I really mean the label and not the content of FAQ. The content is very useful if its’ made the right way (as here on ux.se), but there are plenty ...
18
votes
8answers
5k views

Using mailto: links for email addresses…what is the practice these days?

When giving out your email address on a site, do people still use the mailto:email@example.com syntax for the link? Does this work with people using web mail clients? I use gmail and whenever I click ...
18
votes
6answers
1k views

Why is there a convention on the web for dropdown menus on hover instead of on click?

This is something I've always wondered. On all major operating systems, application menus (File/Edit/View etc) only appear on click. However, nearly every web site that uses a drop-down menu ...
17
votes
4answers
575 views

Should I use a dropdown with only one item if in future this control might have more options?

We have a drop down selection that will only have 1 option. In the future this drop down may expand for some and not for others. Would it be better to develop it now as a drop down knowing that this ...
17
votes
4answers
8k views

Should I manually hyperlink phone numbers using “tel:” on my websites?

In code, you have the ability to make a phone number on a website into a link by prepending the phone number in the href with a "tel:" So, for example, you can create a link to 800-867-5309 with the ...
15
votes
9answers
2k views

Scrollbar on the left

Is there a deep study that suggests to place a scrollbar on the right? Personally I move it to the left whenever it's possible (firefox allow this, as well as xterm and emacs). I know that placing a ...
14
votes
3answers
655 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 ...
13
votes
7answers
560 views

How do you go about convincing the stubborn “powers that be” to let you change a clumsy layout that users are used to?

How do you go about convincing the stubborn "powers that be" to let you change a clumsy layout that users are used to? Say there was a layout in a previous version of software from years back and ...
13
votes
7answers
456 views

Is the concept of versions out of date?

I recently noticed some copy stating that something was compatable with "Firefoz 3.6, IE 8 and Google Chrome". I realized I don't know what version my copy of chrome is, yet it's always up to date. ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Drawer Navigation vs. Drop Down Menus

Are there any studies on drawer type navigation such as: http://www.ibm.com/us/en/ where the navigation pushes down content, compared to traditional drop down menus where navigation covers up content? ...
12
votes
8answers
2k views

Why are spinning animations typically used for loading sequences?

This question is asking about why spinning animations tend to used as "conventional" indefinite loading animations - it is not asking why a particular software/app/OS uses a spinner. Also the ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

Is it appropriate to display the warning message “Caps Lock is on”?

Is it appropriate to display the warning message "Caps Lock is on" when focus shifts to Password field? In gmail and yahoo I don't see it. So, what does the standard say?
12
votes
5answers
2k views

How to represent optional fields?

I've read somewhere, that if you have more required fields than optional, best practice is to mark the optional form fields. However I think that asterisk notation for required fields is a widely ...
11
votes
7answers
576 views

What to consider a click?

Such a simple concept, yet so many ways to interpret it. I'm making a program (a game, to be specific) using an event based library (Allegro). The library doesn't have a specific event for a mouse ...
11
votes
4answers
546 views

When developing the user experience for mobile applications, is it better to be consistent with the platform, or your brand?

Some of the best received mobile applications seem to be those that work harmoniously with the native platform (for example, an app that sticks to the metro guidelines, for Windows Phone); however I ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Is only having a single unmasked password field (no confirm) on a registration page a bad idea?

Some sites allow you to register and only provide a single password box, which is protected with stars. Traditionally a "confirm password" box is used when registering which allows you to confirm ...
9
votes
18answers
576 views

What to call the “Short News” section/module?

I have a classic section called "Latest News & Articles" which is in the bigger left column. But then I want to have a block with "short news" like here (screenshot from games.cz): In Czech ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

Have the attitude changed the last ten years on horizontal scrolling on web sites?

Often cited usability guru Jakob Nielsen wrote the article “Top Ten Web-Design Mistakes in 2002” and placed on no 3 Horizontal Scrolling as a Web Design mistake with the motivation: Users hate ...
9
votes
3answers
524 views

When to use static (i.e., sticky) navigation bars?

As an amateur web designer I've been paying close attention to websites' designs to improve my grasp on this field, I noticed that some websites are using sticky navigation bars while others are using ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

The missing “Folder Up” button in Windows Explorer in Vista and Win7

Windows XP had a "Folder Up" button in Windows Explorer. Whenever you want to go to a directory higher in the hierarchy, you just press it. Windows Vista and Windows 7 have a rather useful address ...
8
votes
3answers
281 views

How to differentiate icons for *client* from *server* IT services (mail, web, filesharing and so on)

I need to design a UI that includes widgets to control a server computer, and a client computer. This means I'll be doing similar pairs of icons for mail (mail program vs mail server), web (browser ...
7
votes
8answers
463 views

Is clicking here to stay?

I remember seeing a really interesting site a while back that challenged the convention of clicking: http://www.dontclick.it/ (it's a safe site, it uses mouse movement instead of clicking for ...
7
votes
3answers
260 views

Industry standard for button captions that use a Function Key as the keyboard shortcut

If I have a button that has the caption _Save then when it shows up on the screen it will show the S as underlined. This tells the user that Alt+S will make that button "press". But what is the ...
7
votes
3answers
195 views

UX Organisation

I was just wondering if there are any organisations or groups which monitor or provide insight into User eXperience, such as the W3C for the World Wide Web, or the IEEE? Although they are not creators ...
7
votes
2answers
234 views

How and when to go about challenging a tried and true user behavior?

There are many user behaviors that have been ingrained in us over time. Some of them good, and some of them just because, "that's the way that it has been done for years, people expect it." The ...
6
votes
2answers
309 views

Is there a preferred manner of laying out a few radio buttons?

If I have a requirement to display three radio buttons, is there some UX standard that says they should be laid out vertically and not horizontally? i.e. is: o High Temperature: o ...
6
votes
4answers
755 views

Best position for collapse indicator on collapsible content

What is the convention/standard/best-practice for the placement of a collapse/expand button/indicator on collapsible content? I've seen many examples of the placement on the left (left of title in ...
6
votes
6answers
1k views

Better Term for “Web Design and Development” Company [closed]

What term do you use to refer to a company / organization that helps other companies / organizations in the following areas? Working with the product owner / manager to formulate abstract ideas into ...
6
votes
3answers
242 views

If a microsite uses the same logo as the main site, which “home” should it link to?

Which 'home' should the microsite's logo link to - the main site or the microsite? Consider that... The content and layout of the microsite is the only differentiator Half the users reach the ...
5
votes
5answers
227 views

Is “<Object name>: <quantity>” notation acceptable in most popular localization?

This question was originally asked in the linguistics SE (which is not a good place to ask this kinds of thing). Full question follows I follow the software localization guideline, that states ...
5
votes
5answers
3k views

Is it a bad idea to put the logo in the top-right corner and the navigation in the top-left?

Firstly I would like to say that I don't think there is a concrete rule about where the logo on a website should be – but intuitively I think it should be in the top left at least for continuities ...
5
votes
4answers
232 views

Nomenclature: Folder or Directory in UI?

I often see the terms "folder" and "directory" being used in user interfaces as well as in programming almost as synonyms. Do I have to stick with one? or can I use both interchangeably? Do users ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Why do some custom iOS apps use the native nav bar?

I'm talking about Instagram or Foursquare, they are custom designed but still are using default themed menu bar for navigation. Is there some dirty secret behind it?
5
votes
3answers
246 views

Dropdown select or Dropdown select + button?

There seems to be two contradicting conventions on web applications. One is that a Dropdown-control also is an action button, meaning that when a user selects an item in the Dropdown control, an event ...
5
votes
1answer
203 views

Is there a style guide for NFC functionality on Android (or generally)?

I've just added NFC functionality to my Android app, and I need to expose it to the user. I don't have a separate UX specialist or tech writer to hand this off to, so I want to make sure I don't write ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there any research or data on horizontal vs. vertical navigational menus?

I've seen many sites using both horizontal (top) navigation, vertical (left) navigation, and both across web sites for a long time. My understanding is that they're both conventions, but I would ...
5
votes
1answer
155 views

In breadcrumbs in a CMS what should I use as the page name

In our content management system, users can create/delete/edit pages for their website. When editing a page we like to show breadcrumbs. For example someone creates an about-us page. Should the ...
5
votes
2answers
133 views

Are there any conventions for mobile behavior when swiping left/right?

I'm working on a new platform for mobile. In this platform, the gesture of swiping left (from right to left) acts differently in different contexts. On an object (a rectangle with details) it opens ...
5
votes
5answers
348 views

Alternative design options to context menu on Windows Phone

On Windows Phone it's possible to provide a context menu to the user when an item is long pressed. I have a list of items (waypoints the user has added to a map) which I'd like the user to perform ...
5
votes
3answers
484 views

What is this menu style called?

At work the other day, someone asked if there was a word for the style of menu that the latest versions Firefox and Microsoft Office now use; a single top level menu item which expands to a more ...
4
votes
4answers
310 views

Is there a convention for identifying final vs. placeholder text in wireframes?

I'm working on a bunch of wireframes where I have a mix of near-final and copy-guide text. Near-final copy are text that our visual designers should use in their designs verbatim, and copy-guides are ...
4
votes
4answers
184 views

Are “About” views necessary in applications?

I am currently assisting in the development of an app for mobile and the web. Someone recently pointed out that we haven't discussed the "About" view yet. My first reaction was, "Do we need one?" An ...
4
votes
7answers
257 views

Non-standard symbols indicates special function

Everyone most web users understand that the asterisk (*) indicates that the fields on a form are required. But what about non-standard symbols? Our UX team is currently working with an application ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

What are unique UI controls on Android?

Apart from regular UI controls like tabview and listview, are there any unique and attractive UI controls like Quick action bar, Action bar, or iOS spinner (Date and time selector) which are ...