An interface is the point of communication between user and system, allowing for input to the system and feedback to the user.

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80
votes
16answers
16k views

Intuitive interface for Composing Boolean Logic?

I'm interested to know how people have, or would construct an interface which simplifies constructing logical boolean conditions? (Yes, it's a database query builder) In my mind a bad interface has ...
49
votes
5answers
12k views

Why does the space bar do page down in browsers

Why is the space bar doing a page down in some viewer apps, especially browsers and PDF readers? For me this seems to be a bit counter-intuitive, and also this behaviour affects games and other ...
45
votes
14answers
9k views

Best color to display hot/cold but also on/off

I'm not really sure about some colours of one section of the application I am writing. Basically, I need to have a section that displays if something is ON/OFF, but also HOT/COLD. Now, usually, I ...
44
votes
15answers
9k views

Why are keyboards still the predominant input device? [closed]

While reading about the history of the computer keyboard I was a little surprised to hear that it is still the primary interface between humans and computers... Despite the development of ...
34
votes
5answers
2k views

The Pinterest Trap

First a bit of context: I have been falling victim more and more to "Pinterestization" or the "Pinterest Trap" in my design. I have a feeling I'm not the only one. See this excerpt from Hana Schank ...
30
votes
8answers
5k views

Is there such thing as “touchscreen-friendly” user interface?

My understanding about touchscreen-friendly is that the controls are not too small so that they can be tapped by the finger. Are there "touchscreen-friendly" user interface standards? Or is there even ...
22
votes
10answers
5k views

Best way to communicate “tap anywhere to continue”

I have an iOS game which shows a screen every time you win or lose a game. On that screen, the user can tap anywhere to return to the gameplay screen. However, this does not seem immediately obvious....
20
votes
3answers
636 views

Purposefully obscure user interface design to encourage behaviours

Installing Windows 8 makes it seem that it is mandatory to create a Microsoft account, however the option to install without one is there, albeit wilfully buried. Logging out of the Windows Phone ...
20
votes
8answers
844 views

Users don't read (or even see) things. How can I deliver important clues?

I am building a website. Some pages contain instructions (a few simple sentences, nothing intimidating) and have fairly standard controls (drop-downs etc). There's not a lot on any one page. The ...
17
votes
3answers
1k views

Multi shapes buttons damage User Experience / User Interface?

This is a question I have been thinking about in the past few days. I'm making a social app(Similar to Facebook or Instagram etc). As I started working on the design and I though of a question. The ...
16
votes
5answers
3k views

Do input box highlights improve user experience?

Modern operating systems and web browsers lightly highlight text input fields on mouseover: The highlight is so minimal it's easy to overlook. Other form elements (such as dropdowns) highlight more ...
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 ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

Toolbar buttons - to be or not to be?

I need to create a toolbar for my application, and let's assume that due to external constraints it must be a regular toolbar, not a ribbon. The application itself has a significant number of ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Pick a unique activity for each day of the week

I am making an app that creates custom marathon training schedules and I want the user to be able to pick one of 7 activities for each day of the week without picking the same one twice. I made a ...
14
votes
6answers
608 views

Should I combine these 2 mutually exclusive actions?

I have an interface for managing multiple email addresses associated to an account in my web application. This interface is to be used by an administrator. The interface shows a list of email ...
11
votes
8answers
7k views

What fonts are good and which ones should we avoid for our application's UI?

What do you advise when it comes to selecting fonts for your User Interface?
11
votes
5answers
1k views

Volume controls: Why is left down and right up?

I see a lot of people discuss the order of buttons (e.g., should OK be on the left and cancel on the right? or submit button on the left or right?) but something that I wonder: Why do volume ...
11
votes
4answers
802 views

What's the purpose of the bottom bar in popups / modal windows?

There seems to be a common pattern where the bottom of a modal window contains an area that looks slightly separated from its content. I'm trying to find out where this habit comes from, and what ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

Are there any special design guidelines for big touch screens (30–50 inch)?

I'm about to develop an application for a large touch screen (around 40″). Now to my question, are there any special design guidelines for such a large screen? I have read Android/iOS/Windows RT ...
11
votes
1answer
722 views

North American electrical outlet, why so sad? [closed]

I wasn't sure whether it was more appropriate to post here or rather on electronics SE, but please bear with me... Why was the 120 VAC outlet and the pinout of the plugs shaped the way they are? ...
10
votes
4answers
390 views

Another phrasing for the term “Directions” in this case?

Below is a short browser based linux simulator for training purposes. It basically starts off with a blank screen, and gives directions for the user to enter a linux command to do a given task. If the ...
10
votes
5answers
851 views

What is the term for a numeric input field of a specific format?

There are new HTML5 input types being defined for commonly used numeric input types such as date, time, telephone number, etc. These terms refer to a specific input format based on the type of numeric ...
10
votes
4answers
294 views

Naming features of an app or site

Working closely with external clients, every now and then you run into one that's especially creative. They'll come up with very specific names for certain features they came up with, that don't align ...
10
votes
6answers
773 views

Is culture or language a stronger influence on UI design differences?

I read the article by Dan Grover on Chinese Mobile app UI trends and the differences compared to English or western mobile apps. The main list is provided below: Input is Hard Indeterminate Badges ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Sorting tables after multiple columns

I want to add a sorting functionality to a table. It should be able to be sorted after multiple columns. A standard approach is something like this: download bmml source – Wireframes ...
10
votes
4answers
214 views

Is the following approach better for mobiles? Missing 'save' option in Google Keep

This is one of the example from Google's approach with almost all online products these days... In Keep, when you create/edit a note it is automatically saved(ofcourse) but you don't get any ...
10
votes
3answers
549 views

How to go about presenting a large family tree?

I'm currently developing a game, and one of the features involves breeding the creatures you collect. Since it's a game, a large amount of promiscuity is to be expected, and individuals could ...
9
votes
4answers
329 views

How to take advantage of white space on a blank interface

I'm working on an interface that allows users to create and edit playlists. As first time users will have no playlists, they will come across a fairly empty page that consists of a 'create playlist' ...
9
votes
3answers
373 views

What are good synonyms for “not yet connected”?

I'm working on a browser-based tool that allows users to interact with other users they are matched with. Relationships between users progress in a linear fashion along a series of states, initiated ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Best way to show search results for different content types

On a website that has different types of content on the same topic, how should this information be displayed after a user searches. Let's say a site's topic is "trees" and the content types are as ...
9
votes
7answers
2k views

Showing user's (name) initials but what if more than 1 user have the same initials?

I'm designing an app where users can assign tasks to other people. The space I have available to convey to whom the task is assigned to is about 23-25px. So right now we're just showing two initials, ...
9
votes
2answers
259 views

Making a signature field look like a physical signature box

I am making an app that involves a four-day schedule and a "signature" that certifies you are going to abide by the terms of the schedule. I would like to make the signature field look like a ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Extra wide tables best practices

I have a table with large (25+) amount of columns in it. Right now it looks very complex and has a horizontal scroll. I want to make it more useful for the users. One solution is to group columns ...
8
votes
1answer
566 views

Best practice on Web Chat “please wait” messaging

We are currently integrating a web chat functionality on a utilities website, where customers can query their bill, or changing plans etc. with their electricity bills. (this will be available to all ...
8
votes
7answers
761 views

Conveying progress for a set of items each with 2 stages

I think I have an issue with the hierarchy of information in trying to convey progress to a user. On the dashboard of a non-profit dashboard I have the following option: The organisation deal with ...
8
votes
1answer
870 views

Name the on-click menu-in-circle-around-object interface

What is the name for this type of interface? I would like to learn more about it but first I need to find it's proper name. Any links to related reading are welcome. EDIT: While adding tags I ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

user interface for multiple selection filter?

I have a user interface where there is a field with multiple options. There are a great many options so I'm using a type-ahead filter to assist discovery and selection. Is there any another good way ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

How to extend the noun-verb paradigm to multiple nouns

Schemes used to command computers usually rely on noun-verb combinations or verb-noun combinations. For instance typical file managers use noun-verb combinations: if you want to remove a file, you ...
8
votes
1answer
91 views

Paper on the significance of terminology regarding users

Does anyone know of material regarding the significance of terminology in (participatory) design processes? I'm looking for theory regarding cases such as this: If some users are patients being ...
8
votes
2answers
668 views

What a user friendly indoor navigation map should look like on mobile devices?

In 2014, Apple has undertaken an initiative to bring indoor navigation to iOS devices. It is expected that major venues, like airports,hospitals and museums will have indoor navigation at some point ...
8
votes
5answers
285 views

Usability testing for existing software

I would like to test the usability of an iPad app released a few months ago. This is an app that functions as a Point of Sale for retail businesses and cafes - there are at least two distinct user ...
7
votes
6answers
725 views

How do I make a photo look like a checkbox?

I am working on a web application where I am using a picture as a substitute for both the text (label) and the checkbox. For example, this is what normally displays, and is universally recognized as a ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

What would be the best way to fill “space” in an User Interface for irregular image sizes gallery?

What would be the best way to fill "space" in user interface for irregular image sizes gallery? Conditions: The row are subjected to hold maximum 3 images only. Float left If the total width of the ...
7
votes
4answers
277 views

Where to place controls on a tree/list

I have a chronological list of items. The user can operate on these items with three actions. So each row has three actions (or buttons for example). My dilemma is thus: Having three buttons on ...
7
votes
3answers
338 views

Similar buttons for very different actions in Gmail

I noticed that Gmail's conversation interface has a bent arrow icon for back-to-inbox and a very similar button for reply. Below is an image of the interface with the two buttons highlighted in ...
7
votes
4answers
5k views

When to use reversed/mirror arrow cursor?

Is there an established pattern for when to use a reversed (right-pointing) arrow? I most frequently notice it in Outlook on part--but not all--of messages in my inbox: My Google-fu failed at finding ...
7
votes
2answers
190 views

Does the average user understand what an Internet robot is?

It seems that most text labels for SPAM-filtering tests use phrases like “prove you’re not a robot” or “prove you’re a human”. But do non-technical users understand that non-humans can access the ...
7
votes
3answers
328 views

“Activate” / “Enable” + “noun verbing” or simply “Verb noun”?

A popular chatting application has the global option "Enable buddy icon animation". Would this be better phrased as "Animate buddy icon" or not? And if so, is this a general rule? For example, ...
7
votes
1answer
317 views

Practical applications / prototypes using different cognitive styles

I'm looking for practical applications or studies where the application has been developed for users with different cognitive styles. I'm mostly interested in those using Nisbett's cognitive thinking ...
7
votes
2answers
566 views

Ergonomic trackpad+button layout for Smart TV remote control

I'm developing a remote control iOS app that will be used to control a web browser running within a smart TV and need some help. I'm interested in how I can place controls in such a way that it is ...