program installed on user's machine as opposed to a program that runs remotely and is accessed via an internet browser.

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20
votes
6answers
2k views

Search box UI - “all words”, “partial match”, “exact phrase”

I'm designing a desktop application (boring accounting stuff) and I have a "search product" feature. I want to have a nice but simple 'smart' search box. Currently, the search box works by splitting ...
4
votes
1answer
193 views

Disabled input fields vs plain text

in this question (How do I choose between disabled input fields and plain text for a read only view?) the problem has been discussed for web. Do these answers also apply for desktop apps? I have this ...
3
votes
6answers
475 views

How can I improve the perceived performance of a desktop application?

We've build quite a 'large' and regrettably slow windows application for various financial planning business steps. I'm currently trying to improve the performance of the application by slowly ...
10
votes
2answers
353 views

Choosing appropriate words for error levels

I develop an open-source, system monitoring tool, ServiceMon, and I'd really appreciate some help choosing the right words to use for a feature. The state of the system that is being monitored is ...
12
votes
3answers
275 views

What are the reasons why the mobile apps market is more developed and active than the desktop one?

What are the reasons why the mobile apps market is more developed and active than the desktop one?
4
votes
6answers
631 views

Good example of a Keyboard Shortcut Manager implementation [closed]

I am implementing a keyboard shortcut manager in which the user can assign shortcut keys to global (or contextual) commands in a Windows desktop application. Note that the application has load of ...
1
vote
1answer
173 views

Time-consuming “Request - response” steps in desktop application

I prototype OLAP-analytics desktop application, that contains a lot of screens, that generate reports. Common process of such generation is: Users sets up analytics parameters (period, data segment ...
6
votes
1answer
411 views

Where can I find an official or recommended Windows desktop application user interface usability and style guide?

I've heard there is a OSX User Interface Usability and Style Guide since the 90's. I never heard of an equivalent book for Windows. Is there any?
12
votes
7answers
561 views

Saving & restoring undo stack — good or bad?

In a sovereign desktop app with multi-level undo/redo (ie Photoshop, Word, etc), would being able to save and restore the undo history of a file with the file itself be a good thing or a bad thing? My ...
7
votes
1answer
221 views

Should filtering of data have an effect on the filter criteria as well?

My quesion is about filtering of data in a Windows desktop application. I have a large amount of data coming from a database (> 900.000 records). The records are shown in a classic listcontrol (rows ...
2
votes
1answer
191 views

Desktop application problem: how to present a new option without confusing existing users

Background: Our user runs an internet shop, based on a SoS platform we provide. In particular we provide a desktop app (Windows), which basically stacks up the shelves of this store by uploading ...
4
votes
5answers
668 views

What are the benefits to software that has no installation wizard?

There are some Windows software packages out there (ie Eclipse, VLC prior to its current version) that do not rely on an installation wizard. Instead of using a wizard there is simply a folder with ...
3
votes
1answer
530 views

How can the Copy and Replace message box be improved?

I have a program (running on Windows) that I am developing that has a file and folder page as part of it that is effectively copying the Windows format. I allow users to copy, cut, paste, delete and ...
3
votes
2answers
165 views

Displaying multiple large images at a time

I'm developing a desktop application which will show details of various types of aircraft. Previously, the application looked like this: When the user mouses over the image in the top right, arrows ...
2
votes
3answers
525 views

Configuration form with multiple steps

I am working on converting a winforms application to WPF. So, we are also trying to make sure this is good from a UX point of view in the process. I have a configuration form that I am not sure if I ...
5
votes
3answers
405 views

Modal popup position

Being a Mac OS X user, I've implemented a popup engine which slides from top (transition is about 300 ms, see video) and stays hooked to the top. Most people (all developers at the moment) say ...
3
votes
5answers
278 views

Can text area be used as error/warning/notification output?

Problem. While developing an enterprise application I faced a problem of communicating various error/warning/notification messages to the user while they are filling out some form or performing other ...
3
votes
3answers
519 views

Using a ribbon as navigation

Every use of the ribbon I have seen so far single panel 'canvas' programs, where grouped functionality is in the ribbon. I have been doing some analysis on some back end software which my company ...
5
votes
5answers
288 views

Scaling an Address Form on Resize

My application has a form for filling in the names and addresses of a donor. Each donor gets a closable tab and each tab has an address form. The problem is that the application runs in a regular ...
3
votes
4answers
706 views

Keyboard shortcut design methodology (for keyboard and touch screen)

What sort of methodologies should I employ to choose which letters and shifting keys to assign to different functions? Is underlining the accelerator letter the best practice, or should I spell out ...
34
votes
9answers
4k views

What are the drawbacks of designing a Windows application to look like a Mac application?

I'm working with a company whose product is a Microsoft Windows application. As the UI/UX designer (and as a Mac user) I want to redesign the application so it is more visually appealing. Are there ...
1
vote
2answers
146 views

How Do I Save Screen Real Estate While Still Giving My Application The Power It Needs?

I've developed an application that throughout the stages has evolved twice. The purpose of the application itself is display meaningful information in the smallest amount of space possible. The ...
0
votes
3answers
201 views

good reason/guideline/heuristic/principle, according to GUI design pattern, to align maximise, minimise and close button on the left side in Ubuntu

Since Ubuntu 10.04 (and maybe some other Linux versions), we sometimes see the maximize, minimize and close buttons on the: left side: and sometimes on the right side: . So, can someone explain ...
5
votes
3answers
425 views

Accessibility for non-web desktop applications

For web-applications I'm used to using WCAG 2.0 as a specification to provide to developers and 3rd parties who are developing websites to use as a guide. I now have a 3rd party supplying a Windows ...
11
votes
2answers
684 views

Icon-only navigation bar for a desktop application?

I am working on a groupware application running as a desktop application (not in the browser). I wanted to keep the interface really simple and minimalistic so my users will not get distracted by a ...
9
votes
1answer
641 views

Prominent Notification Areas in a Desktop Application

I am working on ux for a desktop application for users. I am looking to find out more information, answers, best practices when it comes to handling notifications of actions and other alerts within a ...
5
votes
4answers
853 views

How to handle Desktop Application frame sizing/scaling

I am working on a new project which is focused on a desktop application for users. I am looking to find out more information, answers, best practices when it comes to handling sizing and scaling with ...
4
votes
2answers
275 views

Should I Stop Using A Currency Symbol?

I'm upgrading a desktop application that currently displays the currency symbol anytime money values are displayed or printed. A friend of my from the UK told me "Whenever British people see software ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

Replacement for long drop-down list

I'm currently working on a part of our application in which the user edits a document. Part of the application allows the user to input certain "parts." We've implemented this as a couple of drop ...
3
votes
4answers
642 views

A Web Enabled Desktop App

So you know how the whole web 2.0 moment is about moving native desktop software to the cloud in the form of web applications, with UI being rendered through a web browser, data being pushed through ...
4
votes
4answers
301 views

Software UI: presentation and availability of optional information

I want to make the user of my software program feel comfortable with the new concepts being put before them. As part of this approach I have adopted the "information button" concept for most of the ...
8
votes
10answers
851 views

How can I deal with too much blank space in a desktop application?

Usually people are concerned with too much data/interface, and not enough screen real estate, but I'm in the opposite situation. The desktop application I'm working on has several tabs for entering ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Options, preferences, settings, configurations: What to call them in my application?

I've seen a lot of different applications use a lot of different terminology for the part of the application that lets you change the settings. But are there any advantages/conventions as to using one ...
2
votes
5answers
1k views

What is the best way to hint that a table cell is editable?

I have a table with data, with several columns. This is a table used mostly for reading, with the possibility for a user to occasionally adjust some values. Most columns are informative only, and some ...
6
votes
3answers
175 views

Getting “empty” views right

In many applications, the first view a user will see is an empty view. A view with no data in it. Let's say for example that we have a desktop project management application, then the first view ...
3
votes
3answers
178 views

Is it better to use generic icons for 3rd party branded software or system specific icons?

I am developing a program that saves Word documents. We develop on Mac OSX (in a Virtual Machine) and as such the Word Icon we have used is the Mac-specific word icon (which makes no sense when ...
9
votes
5answers
6k views

Desktop software design patterns

There are a lot of resources on the web about web applications design patterns, but only a few about desktop applications. And this is quite strange as most of the business targeted software is ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Responsive web design technique in desktop application?

What do you think about using responsive web design techniques in a desktop application? We need more space for large data and since all monitors today are widescreen, it could be good practice I ...
-1
votes
5answers
412 views

Appropriate Icon for “Load” Button? [closed]

I'm tasked with redoing part of the UI in one of our desktop applications. I've specifically been asked to replace a "Load" button with an icon. Are there any conventions for this style of icon? ...
1
vote
2answers
196 views

Authentication pop up on a desktop app: what if it is much bigger than main app window?

I am working on a desktop app that requires authentication. It allows federated authentication using different services, Google among them. Most probably, we'll use a pop up with a browser window to ...
3
votes
1answer
130 views

Best Practise for contextual properties at Desktop App

I'm working on a desktop application - a photovoltaic planner - where you can layout your solar panels on a roof very similar to graphic programs like InDesign or Illustrator. Actually, its quite ...
3
votes
3answers
578 views

Should I redesign my desktop application so it looks and acts like a website?

I'm in the process of redesigning one of my older desktop applications. The original design I did was based on a 640 X 480 screen. Times have changed and there several different screen resolutions ...
3
votes
3answers
295 views

Ask to show tutorial on first start?

The help system of my desktop application contains a "first steps" tutorial to introduce the general workflow and some terms. The tutorial can be found directly in the main menu and in the help ...
1
vote
2answers
334 views

Dialog asking to save changes when doing a selection change?

In our desktop application we have a viewer which shows the content of a selected item (both, viewer and list, are located in the same window). When the user selects a different item, its content will ...
1
vote
2answers
98 views

Which input layout for choosing between Option1, Option2 and (Option1 or Option2, dynamically)

One setting in our app has to be as follows: For a certain scenario, the user select whether he wants: Always use option X Or always use option Y Or, depending on a dynamic flag, use X or Y (he ...
53
votes
9answers
7k views

Undo History - Why limit it?

Why do most applications have fairly limited 'undo' history functionality? I've been caught out on multiple occasions (granted its technically my fault) where I've needed to undo a number of changes ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the ideal height of a button in regular desktop applications?

On most GUI creator (I just checked Qt Creator and Flex Builder), it seems the default button height is about 22 pixels. This is what I use for most desktop applications I create except those I make ...
5
votes
1answer
398 views

What is the best way to display per-tab commands or actions?

I am working on a multiple document interface Windows application. We're using tabs to represent open documents for editing. I have three levels of possible commands: Global Per-tab Per-sub-tab ...
2
votes
5answers
908 views

Select item from a list to be added to another list

I have an application implemented with Java Swing. The main view of the applications is divided in a left side and a right side. The top of the right side contains a SearchField, and a list of search ...
1
vote
2answers
124 views

Should our application ask for users master password when needed or at application start?

Our application may contact different servers using background processes to update local data. Some servers require authentication, others don't. When accessing the first time a server, our ...