Defines the structure and behavior of interactive systems. Interaction Designers strive to create meaningful relationships between people and the products and services that they use, from computers to mobile devices to appliances and beyond.

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468
votes
9answers
184k views

Why is the mouse cursor slightly tilted and not straight?

Is this a legacy thing or does a tilted cursor serves a purpose? I can tell that, the angle provides a totally vertical left edge which helps when highlighting text but what else apart from that? ...
232
votes
20answers
56k views

Is this rotating cube interface user-friendly?

I'm working on a prototype for an innovative form interface, where different parts of the form are shown on different sides of a cube. The cube rotates, and the user can fill it out as the cube spins. ...
99
votes
20answers
15k views

Toilet flush buttons

This question has been bugging me ever since I've started learning usability. I am talking about the two buttons for the flush : Full and half container. On one hand, the button shape has to ...
93
votes
16answers
9k views

Is there any reason to send “no-reply” emails?

As a customer of one of service, I just got an invoice for services I ordered and paid. It always surprises me that at end of such mails containing invoice, you will find sentence like this: This ...
89
votes
12answers
20k views

Why do showers have “hot” and “cold” knobs rather than “temperature” and “quantity” knobs?

I do not understand the advantage of the popular "hot" and "cold" controls in showers, as opposed to "temperature" and "quantity" controls. Is it simply because the latter option is harder to ...
61
votes
12answers
9k views

Fibonacci pagination

Today I stumbled upon this pagination concept and I found it fascinating. It's actually an old shot but it made me think as I'll need to paginate some content in the near future. Pages will soon ...
61
votes
18answers
3k views

How can I keep up-to-date with the latest thinking about designing complex, rich applications?

I am designing a very complex eco-system of apps. I like to make sure I am up-to-date with the latest thinking, research and trends in app and UI/UX design. I find that there are many great articles, ...
60
votes
10answers
10k views

Undo History - Why limit it? [closed]

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 ...
56
votes
12answers
9k views

Make people understand they can click on a button in a flat design

I'm creating a flat-ish responsive website, which basically is an online résumé. I'm displaying skills (but it could be whatever) in a grid system. Each skill is clickable, to display some ...
54
votes
7answers
9k views

When is a website too humanized/personal?

A popular technique to attract customers and instil trust in them is to “humanize” your website. You want to make it appear that there are actually people behind the users’ screens and that those ...
47
votes
9answers
5k views

How can I make monochrome icons work?

My company has just implemented a monochrome icon theme in an attempt to transition to a more "modern" interface. Feedback from the first round of user testing has been mixed: Almost everybody ...
45
votes
2answers
12k views

Why is Google using a (new) 2 step Gmail sign in process?

I am not asking about the two factor authentication process where the user needs to enter both a password and a one-time-password. Gmail recently (I don't know from when exactly) changed their login ...
41
votes
8answers
3k views

How to work with visual designers who treat wireframes as literal graphic suggestions?

Recently I started to face quite many cases on my client projects when a visual designer on the team produces design that looks like wireframes produced by me, only colored. Perhaps, the obvious ...
40
votes
16answers
3k views

Why do we say we “browse” to a place on the Internet when we actually download a web server’s content to our browser? [closed]

Browsing the web is a common daily task for more than a billion users, and we do not pay much attention to it. We just “browse to a place” or ask our laughing friend across the table “where she is on ...
38
votes
13answers
2k views

What should be fetched if you “Search” with a blank query?

Almost all sites include a Search facility. The usual format seen is one of these two: download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups The Question is If the user keeps ...
37
votes
17answers
12k views

Form for inputting operating hours of a business

I am designing an interface where restaurants need to input their operating hours. I am thinking of using a slider control for timings for a single day, and then let the user choose days of the week ...
37
votes
14answers
6k views

Should double click be avoided in web applications?

I find that double click is a great gesture that could be successfully used in graphical interfaces but for some reason has negative connotation on the web. Should it be avoided at all costs?
37
votes
4answers
2k views

Can you, and should you, design against buyer's remorse?

We know that one way to design an engaging experience is to design for emotion, e.g. as outlined in Aarron Walter's book of the same name. Part of the process of designing for an emotional response ...
35
votes
8answers
4k views

Why don't chinese teacups have handles

I am mystified over the difference between an English tea cup and a Chinese tea cup. The difference is that a chinese teacup does not have a handle/"ear" while an English teacup does have a ...
34
votes
10answers
2k views

What's the point in electronic devices beeping on keypress?

Many electronic devices, mostly cell phones, by default beep on keypress. What's the point in that? Once a key is pressed their state is changed and that's reflected in the graphic interface anyway. ...
34
votes
13answers
15k views

Better way for users to select a date range

In my application, users select a date range for which results are required. The UI looks something like this: My users don't like this, because the date picker requires them to select a specific ...
32
votes
9answers
7k views

Is there a more effective way to convince users to sign up with their social media accounts?

The current design for a sign-up page of mine is split into 2 sections - Sign up using your social media account on the left and a sign-up form with 5 inputs on the right. We ran a quick user test and ...
32
votes
10answers
2k views

Can't get users to choose the language they speak on language learning site

I making this website for users to learn languages. The idea is for them to choose a language they understand and a language they want to learn. In the home page the users choose a language they ...
30
votes
6answers
655 views

What are your favorite counter-intuitive principles or ideas within UX? [closed]

A quick example: "Paradox of Choice" - Giving a user more control via options, configuration, and settings is counter-intuitive from a UX standpoint. We expect users will relish their total ...
29
votes
5answers
34k views

Best Practices for UI design on Android (Usability/UX) [closed]

I'm switching for web development to Android development. I know some things about web usability and I see that UX is too often left behind on Android from my I experience with it. As the interaction ...
29
votes
2answers
5k views

What is the terminology for tricking the user into thinking they've almost won big?

I don't exactly know the name for this mechanic, that tricks the user into thinking they were very close to winning big. The following screenshot is from the game Dirty Bomb: Imagine a deck of ...
29
votes
6answers
2k views

What makes users register?

First off - I want users to register on my site. It's a site for image sharing, sort of like imgur.com. But what makes a user on a website register? I have people coming back to my site but they ...
28
votes
12answers
2k views

Real-life UX: What's wrong with our coffee maker?

At Stack Exchange, we have a very expensive espresso machine - professional quality. However, we are having a persistent, companywide problem with its use. It seems that after using the wand to ...
27
votes
9answers
8k views

How should I interview UI and IA job applicants?

I'm a programmer who knows enough about UI/IA to sound convincing and cares enough to want to hire someone who actually knows what they are doing. Interviewing programmers is easy - they go on and on ...
27
votes
11answers
4k views

Touchscreen devices: why did the stylus fall out of favor?

It seems to me that devices (such as navigation systems) that use a stylus for touchscreen interaction have become out of of favor. Instead most new devices are intended (i. e. larger buttons etc.) to ...
27
votes
4answers
6k views

Character limits on fields - pros and cons and best practices?

Some of our form fields have character limits. We're debating whether we should reflect the current size of data entry, or to simply hard-limit and inhibit data entry beyond that size. In HTML, ...
27
votes
2answers
5k views

Best practices for UI that introduces new users

I'm working on an onboarding UI to help new users get familiar our platform and I was thinking about some good ways to implement it. From what I have come across so far, it seems that many interfaces ...
27
votes
8answers
7k views

How do you document your interaction flows?

For many years I've been using an evolved version of Jesse James Garrett's Visvocab diagramming style for documenting information architecture and interaction design concepts. Today though we're ...
26
votes
5answers
2k views

Why aren't Gmail-like “on-page” dialogs more popular UI solutions?

A few months ago, Gmail gave us the choice to switch to a new UI, with many new features (...) including an "on-page-docked" window. I personally find this piece of UI very useful as it allows users ...
25
votes
12answers
2k views

Is 'crazy' good?

I am in a group at University that is producing a mobile application targeted at Android. Our efforts are going to be on the mobile platform and making an application that 'stands out'. I have come ...
25
votes
7answers
6k views

How can a retractable pen design be enhanced to discourage users from clicking the pen frequently?

Retractable pens typically have a rather noisy mechanism. Some users periodically start pressing the pen button frequently (while they're talking on the phone or while they're waiting for some result ...
24
votes
10answers
3k views

Layout for on-screen hexadecimal keyboard

I am to design a web-based, on-screen keyboard for a touch interface. Users will only need to input 0-9 and the letters A-F. In addition to this, they need a backspace, and possibly a "clear" button. ...
23
votes
3answers
3k views

Is the usage of text embedded in an image a bad practice, for very controlled uses?

What are your thoughts on writing your text in images? I'm not saying throughout the whole website... But in certain key locations like image carousels. And I'm not talking about the special cases ...
23
votes
9answers
2k views

How can you make a user experience addictive? [closed]

What factors and techniques contribute to making a user experience addictive? I ask this in the context of websites, games and other software. What makes people want to keep coming back for more?
23
votes
10answers
4k views

Is it ok to require certain users to have JavaScript enabled?

I am a firm believer sites should work perfectly fine for people who choose to disable Javascript while browsing any and all of the content. However, when it comes to higher-level interaction (such ...
23
votes
2answers
2k views

Google UX flaw? switching placement of Videos and Images

Google offers the possibility to search for several different types of media/information: Web, Images, Video, Maps, etc. Lately I noticed that these choices for other types of information is ...
23
votes
7answers
2k views

How can a TV Remote's UX be improved?

TV remotes have the astounding distinction of having about half as many keys as my keyboard and one thousandth the functionality. The problem stems from the (perceived) need to present every possible ...
22
votes
8answers
7k views

How do you deal with very long dropdown values?

Usually, dropdown menus are made as long as their longest value. However, that works well only for dropdowns with a predefined set of values. How can we deal with a dropdown that receives its values ...
21
votes
6answers
1k views

Bathrooms near elevators

Some office buildings have communal bathrooms (British English: lavatories). By this I mean bathrooms for use by the tenants and guests of all the offices on that floor, as opposed to bathrooms under ...
21
votes
4answers
2k views

When is red the right color for a button?

After reading this question about Big Bad Red buttons, where it was generally agreed upon that red buttons draw the user to click, I was left thinking: then when are they good affordance and ...
21
votes
4answers
2k views

How do users know to hover over elements?

I realized something today. I was looking at a new icon at Airbnb's site, and wanted to hover over it to see if there was anything hidden that would expose on hover: there was. My question: How do ...
20
votes
12answers
5k views

Are two toggle buttons better than a tri-state switch?

I have a grid of people where for each person the user needs to decide whether to include the person in a predefined group, exclude them from the group, or leave it undecided. The initial state is ...
20
votes
5answers
2k views

How to display different levels of importance?

On one of my projects I am currently trying to solve a problem of levels of importance. Due to technical reasons we need five levels of importance, which would be shown to the user in some abbreviated ...
20
votes
15answers
2k views

How to build a budgeting interface (sum of items must equal 100)?

I'm trying to build a visual web interface where users can distribute a budget over some (varying) number of items. For example, if the budget is 100 points, I might allocate: 50 points to 'Apples' ...
19
votes
2answers
900 views

Interface for Data Brushing

For an interactive graph I'm using a UX pattern called Data Brushing. My starting point is a d3js example by Mike Bostock. This is what it looks like in its initial state: The smaller graph below ...