The extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction in a specified context of use.

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156
votes
21answers
14k 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. ...
123
votes
13answers
5k views

Language of language names in the language selector?

Imagine a site that's available in multiple languages. The language is detected automatically by looking at the IP or the browser header. But that's not bulletproof, so a few users might end up on a ...
96
votes
5answers
5k views

Why are vote buttons on Stack Exchange shown when they can't be used?

I've often wondered why Stack Exchange has opted to keep the upvote/downvote buttons available for clicking on question/answers posted by the user. For instance: Even though these buttons have no ...
80
votes
10answers
2k views

Is Markdown Friendly Enough for Non-Technical Users?

The Problem I love using markdown to write questions, answers, posts, comments etc. That being said, I am a very technical, detail oriented, programmer type. However, I am working on a CMS of sorts ...
71
votes
9answers
6k views

Why is the “Record” icon always round and usually red?

I've been wondering why the symbol for 'record' is universally (AFAIK - has anyone seen exceptions?) a circle and usually red. Cameras, VCRs, voice recorders, smartphones, web apps... I've seen cases ...
52
votes
17answers
6k views

Is Microsoft's Ribbon UI really that great, from a usability perspective?

The first time I ever used it was at my current job. Among my coworkers, the feelings toward it for usability are mixed. The other developer doesn't really care one way or the other, as long as Office ...
49
votes
13answers
2k views

Personal information in messages

Is it good to add some personal information (name, username or other) in success or error messages?
48
votes
6answers
8k views

Infinite scroll vs Pagination in E-commerce websites

Infinite scroll has been around for a while now, however I have not seen infinite scroll being implemented on any successful or well known e-commerce sites. Does anyone know of any e-commerce sites ...
43
votes
9answers
2k views

Do non-technical/non-web savvy users understand the concept of tags?

Here at Stack Exchange we're currently wrestling with weaknesses in our tags system. As we open up new verticals – some of which include very non-technical users like cooking – we suspect that the ...
40
votes
10answers
4k views

Is a “Never tell your password to anyone” message in chat really necessary?

In almost every chat window I open, there's this fairly obvious statement: Never tell your [password/credit card/social security/etc] to anyone. Are there some standards for chat functionality that ...
39
votes
10answers
4k views

Display big numbers in a small area

I am developing an accounting app where I display several orders. Every order has a price. I have a box where I would like to display the price as shown below: This works pretty well for fairly ...
38
votes
14answers
2k views

Should I force the user to enter an email before actually using a paid app?

I am working on an iPad app. It's in the medical field and the app will be sold for $99, which is kind of expensive! The client and the developer want to force the user to give his/her email address ...
38
votes
7answers
2k views

Would intentionally slowing down UI help to increase sales on shopping sites?

I've noticed that iTunes store is always slow, at first I thought it's just because iTunes is a bloatware (which it is, on both Mac and Windows.) However I started to wonder whether this is ...
35
votes
7answers
2k views

How can I improve this large grid of checkboxes?

I'm doing a usability pass on a scheduling application. Users specify when they are available to work (by hour and day), and then a supervisor needs to select which of those users are assigned to ...
35
votes
8answers
2k views

Touchscreens in car consoles

Last week this video about a new interface for touchscreens in cars popped up and created a reasonable buzz, maybe you've seen it already. I just got to watching it and it got me thinking about the ...
32
votes
6answers
3k views

Why is tree representation of data becoming unpopular?

I'm asking not about professional software like IDE's, but about OS GUI and web interfaces. A few years ago there was File manager in Windows, Gopher and other interfaces and data models like this. ...
31
votes
9answers
6k views

Good reasons to use bad UI

I know you just read the title, take a deep breath. I'll explain. When should we make a conscious decision to retain poor UI, even if temporarily? Not because of budget or time constraints but ...
31
votes
9answers
2k views

Can ugly be good UX?

It's heresy I know, but look at DrudgeReport.com. It's raw, hand written HTML, it's plain, boring typography, it's something any UX or Graphic designer would scoff at if you handed it across their ...
30
votes
6answers
2k views

What is the psychology behind laying out slabs at different angles for cyclists and pedestrians?

In the UK, we have many paths that are shared by pedestrians and cyclists, with a dividing line down the center to show who should be on which side of the path. I noticed that at the end of such ...
30
votes
8answers
2k views

Save, Favorite or Star?

I'm working on a job app and I would like to offer our user the possibility to save a job and let them find it quickly later. First I thought using a star icon to let them "star" a job like starring ...
29
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 ...
29
votes
3answers
1k views

Is the Windows Start button an example of poor mapping?

In my recent course on HCI, I've been told that start button on Windows systems is an example of poor mapping. The reason for that, as explained in materials, is that it doesn't start anything, but ...
27
votes
3answers
1k views

Is usability gender specific?

I'm talking strictly usability, not UX as a whole: Is there a measurable difference between men and women? Can it happen that elements of a website work well for men but don't work for women or vice ...
26
votes
4answers
1k views

Design Patterns for Discoverability

What are some tried and true design patterns for discoverability in UI/UX, where information or a feature isn't necessarily overt at first glance, but is discoverable by using the interface through ...
25
votes
3answers
1k views

Use old or new name for an update confirmation message when name itself has been updated?

I want to provide a user of a web application some confirmation message like: The task "foobar" has been successfully updated. Now, in term of usability, if the update consists in changing ...
25
votes
4answers
1k views

Why are normal water coolers so low?

A lot of water coolers look like this: You usually have to bend down in order to place your glass under the spigot and fill it, which is annoying it if you're doing it more than a few times a day, ...
25
votes
6answers
6k views

Dropdown vs radio button

User have to choose type of food (from 3 or 4 choices) in our application. Default selection is used in 60 - 70% of cases. What will be better: dropdown or radio buttons?
25
votes
6answers
942 views

Does a self-learning UI make sense?

Let's say we have an application with 50 functions. Six of them are directly accessible as top menu items, the rest is accessible via sub-menus or sub-menus of sub-menus. While working with the ...
25
votes
4answers
788 views

Where to place icons in a checklist? Before or after?

I want to display a list of permissions, with tick icons to indicate what permissions a user has. Where should I place the tick icons - before (on the left) or after (on the right) each item?
25
votes
5answers
1k 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
22k 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
5answers
1k 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 ...
23
votes
3answers
1k 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
2answers
864 views

Should I follow the Android guideline or keep my app's own style when porting it from iOS?

My new project is to port an iOS app to Android platform. Before get started, I'm quite confused on whether I should follow google's guideline since some big titles on Android platform still keep the ...
22
votes
10answers
3k views

Is there an easier and more user friendly alternative to CAPTCHA?

I'm working on setting up a CAPTCHA on a project, and just thought about the user experience of it. I personally find them tedious, especially if they're too difficult. Even these are pretty easy ...
22
votes
12answers
2k views

Content first or Design first?

When designing a layout, should we consider content first or design first? I make websites and 99% of the time my client wants the design before they start thinking about the content. In these cases, ...
22
votes
8answers
2k views

Are hover states necessary?

We're having a discussion in the UX department here at work as to whether or not hover states are necessary to a UI. We're kind of divided. Here are the two arguments: Against (started the ...
22
votes
9answers
2k views

Why is everybody using Facebook, is it good marketing or good usability?

Why is everybody using Facebook? Is it good marketing or good usability? If it's usability, what specifically do they offer that is different from others? I was happily doing social networking on ...
22
votes
4answers
1k views

Any Research on User Experience Perceptions of Native Apps vs Web or Hybrid Apps

My organization is looking at developing mobile applications, we have a wealth of web development resources. There are many factors to consider in making the decision of how to develop this ...
21
votes
1answer
1k views

Why does the iPhone calling screen have letters under the numbers?

The iPhone dialer has letters below the numbers. Why did Apple include them on this screen? In other phones it is used for T9 keyboard or contact search.
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
705 views

Is it a bad idea to have two progress bars in one dialog?

Discussing with my team-mates this morning but we're not sure which one is the best way. Scenario: When users select a single document to process, they will see a progress bar and text displaying its ...
21
votes
3answers
1k views

What text should be used for an insertion button? “Create”, “New” or “Add”?

Whenever I have been designing interfaces, I always wonder if I should name the button Create, New or Add. I have never decided and stuck with one and would like to get an explanation on what use ...
20
votes
6answers
683 views

Calendar recurrences on the last day of the month

I noticed a difference in how Google Calendar and Outlook handle recurring appointments, specifically ones that are on the end of the month. If you try to schedule an appointment on the 31st of every ...
19
votes
12answers
1k views

Why are child-resistant packages sometimes easier to open by kids than adults?

Based on discussions with friends and colleagues there seem to be difficulties opening child-resistant packages in general. There are even stories of parents letting their kids (supervised) open child ...
19
votes
3answers
2k 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
658 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 ...
18
votes
7answers
896 views

What's a good way to use text over a picture?

My dilemma is aptly shown in the picture below: How can I make the text more legible?
18
votes
2answers
622 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
636 views

Is swiping up/down better than swiping left/right for changing months on a calendar?

I have created a custom View to display a Calendar in Android. The display is always 1 month. I'm using a swipe to the sides to switch months. Now I have seen some other Apps (including the installed ...