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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435
votes
7answers
175k 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? ...
188
votes
18answers
46k 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. ...
55
votes
18answers
2k 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, ...
52
votes
9answers
6k 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 ...
42
votes
9answers
4k 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 ...
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
8answers
2k 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 ...
35
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 ...
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
14answers
4k 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?
33
votes
13answers
1k 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 ...
31
votes
17answers
8k 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 ...
30
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
532 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
12answers
8k 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 ...
27
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
27
votes
12answers
1k 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
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 ...
26
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 ...
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
9answers
6k 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 ...
25
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 ...
24
votes
5answers
24k 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 ...
23
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
2k 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
1k 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
7answers
1k 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 ...
23
votes
8answers
3k 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 ...
22
votes
8answers
3k 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
844 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
1k 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
10answers
3k 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 ...
21
votes
3answers
3k 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, ...
19
votes
8answers
1k views

Where can I find problems to challenge my UI design skills?

I'm still in the beginnings of my career as a programmer, and have always thought I was more interested in low-level back-end type stuff. However, having done a few projects lately on my own, I've ...
18
votes
2answers
667 views

Is a private messaging system really necessary?

I have a very old private messaging system that either needs to be redone or removed. It currently accounts for about 20% of the activity on the site. We already have a system in place for ...
17
votes
2answers
779 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 ...
17
votes
6answers
1k views

If input text length is known, do I really need a submit button?

Use case On a mobile device a user is improving her math skills using a native app (Windows Phone). There are many expressions being calculated in a series and the user is trying to get 10 correct ...
17
votes
13answers
1k 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' ...
17
votes
7answers
1k views

App interface for changing relational percentages

Has anyone ever seen or used a good app interface (web or mobile) for changing relational percentages? E.g I need to change 3 amounts to make up £100 and I need to be able to use any permutation to do ...
17
votes
6answers
714 views

Should validating an email automatically sign someone into an application?

When signing up for a new account with a web application, it is standard to send a validation email. I don't want to go into the pros and cons of the validation email though. When receiving a ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Best practices for UI that introduces new users

I'm working on an onboarding UI to help new users get familiar with a web platform and I was thinking about some good ways to implement it. From what I have come across so far, it seems that many ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

Guidelines for autocomplete widgets

What guidelines exist when working with autocomplete widgets? I'm hoping for general guidelines that apply across different application types: web, desktop, and mobile. A response to a Search as you ...
16
votes
10answers
782 views

Do users like choice? How much should I give them?

I built a photo slideshow web page as an exercise for myself. One thing I found myself doing was adding a Settings button. Clicking this reveals a little settings pane that lets a user choose between ...
16
votes
8answers
711 views

At what stage in a project would hiring a UX contractor provide the most value?

In this case it would be for a small company that can't afford lots of specialized positions, developing a new (browser based, this time) version of an enterprise application. The new version is a ...
16
votes
4answers
668 views

Designing for Perpetual Beginners

In About Face 3 Alan Cooper encourages to design for the intermediate user (instead of the beginner or expert). This is due to the fact that users start to pick up on cues and become adept due to ...
15
votes
6answers
1k views

How to show the user the possibility to sort a column with space problems

I am working with a big table with 20 columns and a lot of information. I know that the most common way to indicate that a column is sortable is by adding a little arrow at the right or left of the ...
15
votes
15answers
1k views

Examples of spartan/basic web sites [closed]

I am looking for examples of web sites that have a very spartan and minimal interface - mostly text and very few graphics or even styling - yet the user experience is good enough that users are not ...
15
votes
9answers
555 views

How to reference (and provide links to) online content in offline media?

Provided that print publications produced in-house and "physical" advertisements have to reference or "link" to online content, what is an accessible (in broader sense) and user-friendly way to do so? ...
15
votes
8answers
644 views

Is it ok to change the (US) address input field order in favor of a pre-fill feature?

I am working on an international site that requires the user to enter his postal address. I am wondering if it makes sense to have a slightly different order of input fields in favor of a time saving ...
14
votes
4answers
278 views

Is it ok to force a user to reenter data instead of editing existing

Is it acceptable to force users to delete and recreate data they entered incorrectly or should they be provided with a way to edit every instance of that particular data? Use Case: The wireframe ...