52
votes
11answers
10k views

Why did Microsoft choose the word “Recycle Bin”?

If you delete something in Windows OS, it will go to Recycle bin. But if you think about it nothing recycles in it right? Say, you delete a virus infected file and again restore it from recycle bin ...
52
votes
12answers
4k views

Preventing users from closing browser tab. Bad idea?

I have a customer who wants to add one of those annoying JavaScript alerts that prevent users from closing a browser tab to make them a discount offer. You know, something like: "are you sure you ...
52
votes
5answers
4k views

Star vs Heart icon to represent save as a favourite

I am working on a mobile app that involves user to save a favourite location, I wanted to use an icon to represent that feature but I'm not sure which one is the best whether a star or a heart icon. ...
52
votes
12answers
6k views

Should a web-based UI rely on the browser back button?

The back button is a great "get out of a flow's dead end" option that browsers provide. Should a UI rely on the back button as the only method to allow a user to get to the previous page or should the ...
52
votes
9answers
11k views

Should a button become lighter or darker on hover?

We're having a discussion in the office about whether a button should become lighter or darker when a user hovers over it. Here are some examples from the field: Apple "Buy Now" button (Second is ...
52
votes
8answers
5k views

As a programmer, how do I move into User Experience Design?

I've been a developer for over 6 years, mainly working in the web context, and generally distributed applications, services, and also front-facing apps. I got into programming originally through ...
52
votes
7answers
8k views

Responsive Web Design - what should happen when the mobile device is rotated?

Currently, the standard behaviour for viewing web pages on a mobile is that: If viewed in portrait the text is smaller because the width of the device is small and the whole page width needs to fit ...
52
votes
10answers
4k views

Should users be forced into a responsive design (without the ability to opt out)?

There is nothing worse than getting automatically redirected to a mobile version of a site, and not having (or not easily finding) a "view normal site" link. It's not just that the mobile site is a ...
52
votes
7answers
4k views

How should you show that an accordion is expanded?

When you have an accordion, you need some way of showing the current state is expanded. There are a number of different ways of handling this, and each is used by a number of respected websites and ...
51
votes
8answers
3k views

Should I fill empty space in bars?

It's about bar-charts in a table. Every row has a bar, which visualises a value of the row. The biggest value of the whole table is the maximum of the bars and not necessarily on the same ...
51
votes
11answers
4k views

Submit and Reset button, what's the best order?

In a form with a Submit and a Reset button and the end, what's the best order for the user experience ? Submit first ? Or Reset first ?
51
votes
13answers
3k views

How can I guard against users accidentally sending emails without attachments?

I often dash off emails to people and still I forget attachments. I am using an email client which does keyword sniffing, e.g. if I type 'attachment' or similar it will pop up a warning, but more ...
51
votes
11answers
9k 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 ...
50
votes
8answers
10k views

“Do Not Disturb” tags in hotels, how can they be improved?

We've seen keys being replaced by key cards, new LCD TVs, WiFi and LAN in each room but the one thing that doesn't seem to have changed is the "Do Not Disturb" tag that can be hung on the doorknob ...
50
votes
10answers
6k views

Does it make sense to authenticate a user when he/she provides existing valid credentials while registering?

Someone came up with this proposed behavior recently and I haven't been able to find examples of services working the same way. I have to say I don't really like it, but can't put my finger on a ...
50
votes
18answers
10k views

Alternative reward levels to “Gold, Silver, Bronze”?

I am looking for an easily identifiable awarding scheme, but without using metals, specifically "Gold, Silver, Bronze". Does such a thing exist?
50
votes
11answers
5k views

Why is the input field always at the bottom of a chat window?

It seems like the input field for writing your messages in a chat application is always placed at the bottom of the conversation. Do we have any argument for this seen in a UX perspective?
50
votes
8answers
8k views

Merging firstname/last name into one field

I am entertaining the notion of a single field for name entry on our scheduling web app. I think this is an excellent case for a "forgiving format" to make it easy to enter their names quickly. I ...
50
votes
8answers
12k views

Regular pagination vs. infinite scroll

I'm currently making a dating site, my choice for pagination is between the traditional: [<< Prev] [1] [2] [3] [Next >>] vs [ Load More ] The 2nd is the "load more" bar or button ...
49
votes
8answers
5k views

Why doesn't the space bar have anything written on it?

All the key on the keyboard have something written on them which more or less describes their functionality, except for, traditionally, the Space bar. Why don't the majority of keyboard space bar ...
49
votes
7answers
5k views

Synonym for 'GUI' for non-technical people?

Does anyone know a good synonym for 'GUI' that non-technical people will understand? Or a simple sentence explaining it that still won't scare them off? I mean this in the context of, for example, ...
49
votes
14answers
5k views

Should a progressbar go both ways?

I'm developing a long-running algorithm and want to give my users an idea of what is the current state of the calculation. I thought of adding a progress bar indicating the percentage of all the ...
49
votes
5answers
6k views

Why is blue used as a background color to indicate no signal?

To my knowledge most projectors' "No Signal" screen uses a blue background: This might also apply to the legendary Blue Screen of Death So why is blue the color of choice for such error ...
49
votes
10answers
9k views

Is a cancel button necessary in a web form?

Personally I have never used it. I don't put information in a form and then decide everything needs to be cleared. I would edit one field. Plus cancel in a UI suggests canceling an action which is in ...
49
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 ...
49
votes
10answers
3k views

How to make a progress-speed bar more understandable?

I've just installed Windows 8 and noticed the brand new File copying dialog. When expanded, it shows the progress and the current transfer speed in one graph. However, the graph confuses me greatly. ...
48
votes
15answers
14k views

Why don’t we remove door handles and let doors open both ways (inwards, outwards)?

In browsing the site today, I came across a question about doors somewhat related to something I’ve been wondering for a LONG LONG time: Why don’t we remove all door handles and let doors open both ...
48
votes
11answers
4k views

When a button contains text and an icon, which should come first?

Assuming I'm optimizing for making it as fast and easy as possible for most users to find the button they need, what's the optimal ordering?
47
votes
4answers
5k views

Radio Button: Yes/No or No/Yes

In some cases, as No is the default option for a radio button, should it be placed first instead of Yes? In my opinion, default option should be prioritized to place on left. What's your opinion?
47
votes
11answers
5k views

Deletion: Confirm or Undo? Which is the better option and why?

Which one is the better option and why? Delete with Confirmation [The action cannot be undone] or Delete with one click [And provide option to Undo]
47
votes
26answers
9k views

How to prevent users using your app while driving?

I'm working on an app project for professional drivers. Besides all the features we need to offer them, we need to prevent as much as we can our users to use the app while driving. Can you think of ...
47
votes
3answers
5k views

Why is it called the fold?

Why is the place where the visible screen (on load) ends called the Fold? I have a hard time even writing out the definition for it, but when someone says The Fold, I know exactly what they mean. ...
47
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 ...
47
votes
13answers
12k views

Why don't users want to see adverts relating to products/services they might be interested in?

As we all know, Google's content display network, as well as many other successful setups rely on delivering targeted adverts to users to increase the chances of adverts falling in front of the ...
47
votes
8answers
19k views

Is there any alternative UI for tree structure?

Is there any other better UI feature for tree structure to reduce the multilevel nodes.
47
votes
7answers
9k views

Is there a problem with using black text on white backgrounds?

Why do a lot of websites use a text color other than #000000 black when the background is white? For instance, this text will be displayed using a dark grey: .post-text { color: #333; } Have ...
47
votes
9answers
169k views

What is the best font for extremely limited space, i.e. will fit the most READABLE text in the smallest space?

I often have very limited space when creating reports and dashboards for users. I usually use Arial, or Arial Narrow, but UI isn't my area of expertise, so I want to know, is there an optimal font for ...
46
votes
17answers
6k views

Computer login with password only, without username

I have an idea to simplify the login screen on things like home computers with a small number of users (say, 2-10) with passwords. Today, a typical home computer's login screen has three steps: ...
46
votes
13answers
3k views

Is there a better character than the asterisk to indicate a modified document?

In Windows applications it seems to be a common way to indicate modified, unsaved documents with an asterisk * character. E.g. this is how Visual Studio .NET 2012 indicates a modified document: ...
46
votes
10answers
3k views

What is the best way to inspire users to choose strong password?

Most of the users use weak passwords. They may use weak passwords even for services where they store sensitive information. I think it's because they don't believe that their password may be ...
46
votes
5answers
3k views

Is it default that an English version is always Title Case, while other languages like Dutch don't use Title Case?

I have a multilingual site, and I wondered about this. It feels really inconsistent to use Title Case for one language, but normal casing for another language. Despite that, it seems to be common. ...
46
votes
14answers
965 views

Where should the second most important tab go?

Is this picture true or false? My assertion is that it is true, but I would like your collective second opinion. Do you know of some research online on the subject? My explanation is that users ...
46
votes
6answers
5k views

Don't hide or disable menu items?

In 2008, Joel Spolsky wrote: A long time ago, it became fashionable, even recommended, to disable menu items when they could not be used. Don't do this. Users see the disabled menu item ...
46
votes
9answers
4k views

Why we don't use wider interfaces on wide screens

Screen are getting wider and wider. Almost every interface uses a fixed width and content is centered in the screen. I know we can't read a too long line easily, but there are solutions to fill the ...
46
votes
6answers
8k views

Is scrolling better than clicking to reveal more content?

Which is faster? Scrolling down or clicking a button to reveal more content? Currently, our site requires clicking of page numbers to reveal more content. We have 9 channels per page, which fits on ...
45
votes
33answers
3k views

What are common UI misconceptions and annoyances? [closed]

I often use applications and electronic devices for which I think: "Why on earth did they engineer that thing as it is? They must have known that it is a pain in the neck to work with". On the other ...
45
votes
7answers
6k views

Why should text be non-selectable?

I've seen some websites that make their text unselectable. And I believe that this can break up user experience, as "selectable text" is a well established ui pattern on web and computer in general. ...
45
votes
11answers
7k views

Is it bad practice to use “Lorem Ipsum” example text in a text-preferences screen?

I'm the developer of an application where text plays a major role in the user interface. Users can adjust the style of the text in a preference screen. I have added an example text to the preference ...
45
votes
14answers
3k views
45
votes
15answers
7k views

What are some great web-based prototyping tools? [closed]

I'm looking for a list of web-based prototyping tools and I'd like to build one up here by using StackExchange's democratic voting system. There are already some lists around the web, notably these ...

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