217
votes
18answers
24k views

Should a toggle button show its current state or the state to which it will change?

I have a quick question about buttons that toggle between two states. (Think Play/Pause, or Shuffle/Regular Play.) As the title says, should the toggle show it's current state or the state to which it ...
199
votes
41answers
49k views

The must-read User Interface Book? [closed]

I'm looking for The Book that explains the essentials of user interface and user experience design. I read Beautiful Visualization and Designing Interfaces from O'Reilly. I think they are very good ...
84
votes
7answers
15k views

When to use icons vs. icons with text vs. just text links?

Are there any rules on when to use icons vs. icons with text vs. just text links in a web application? For example: vs. save vs. save Extra question: Is save -or- save preferable?
234
votes
15answers
32k views

Are carousels effective?

Go to just about any eCommerce site and the homepage is nearly guaranteed to feature a carousel - an auto-rotating panel, usually with some sort of small navigation, usually highlighting new product ...
183
votes
22answers
19k 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. ...
186
votes
24answers
35k views

OK/Cancel on left/right?

Should OK button be on left of Cancel button or vice versa? Are there any studies suggesting either of the solutions?
63
votes
11answers
12k views

Home button vs Logo link?

Is a "home" button on the navigation required if there is a link to the homepage using the company's logo? Increasingly I have noticed more and more websites using the logo as a link to return to ...
27
votes
4answers
2k views

How do you create or select an icon for a feature?

How do you work out what icon type or image you need for a feature? There's been quite a lot of very small questions here in the form of "What is a good icon for feature X?". Instead we should be ...
270
votes
13answers
52k views

Should I use Yes/No or Ok/Cancel on my message box?

Semantically, the Yes/No buttons are roughly equivalent to the Ok/Cancel buttons, but in general what would you recommend to use? Should I always use Yes/No or always use Ok/Cancel? Or does it depend ...
68
votes
9answers
67k views

What is this side menu called that can be found in many multi-touch apps, and where does it originate from?

It can be found for example in the YouTube and Facebook app.
137
votes
23answers
43k views

How To Display Too Much Data

We're building a web-based platform where the main dashboard shows a table of data for users to view and analyze. As we're growing this tool, we seem to be adding more and more columns and are running ...
48
votes
6answers
6k 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 ...
59
votes
2answers
16k views

Ideal column width for paragraphs online

There is nothing worse than coming across a website with paragraphs that span the width of your screen resolution. They are usually so hard to read, I don't even bother. A lot of web designers use ...
53
votes
8answers
6k 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
11answers
10k 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 ...
105
votes
9answers
7k views

“Your” vs “My” in user interfaces

Some user interfaces feature titles such as: My documents My photos My previous orders While others opt for: Your documents Your photos Your previous orders Are their any guidelines addressing ...
46
votes
6answers
9k 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 ...
24
votes
26answers
11k views

Which prototyping tools? [closed]

This links heavily into the following question: What are some great web-based prototyping tools? However I didn't want to limit the suggestions to "Web Based" tools, I have found and used the ...
68
votes
10answers
9k views

How to graphically represent a language

Websites often present language selection to users with flag icons, but I think this is simply wrong. Flags represent countries. There are two reasons for a user to change the display language (or at ...
129
votes
15answers
35k views

Using “Sign in” vs using “Log in”

Is there any research in this area, it seems "Sign in" is more common and hence more recommended.
54
votes
12answers
18k views

What are the negative and positive aspects of dark color scheme?

I am using Light-on-dark color scheme (dark background with light text) in my application. My question is, what are the negative and positive aspects of this color scheme and why this color scheme ...
34
votes
4answers
4k views

On forms, is inline placeholder text better than a label outside each field?

I am familiar with research on label placement to the left or above. I tend to go with right justified with the label to the left of the field for my form designs. However, inline placeholder text ...
50
votes
8answers
13k 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 ...
36
votes
12answers
7k views

What are the differences between buttons and links?

What are the differences between buttons and links?
65
votes
7answers
9k views

What's the best way to view a deep hierarchy?

I've been pondering the best way to show a deep hierarchy for a desktop application I'm working on. Here are some alternative designs I'm considering... Mac OSX Finder: If you understand what ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

How do you persuade an organization to value UX?

UX is such an underrated field in a lot of industries. I wonder how companies consider employing UX designers and even heavily valuing their suggestions. Some big companies happen to see the light and ...
41
votes
8answers
7k views

How to visualize the possibility of drag'n'drop?

My web application contains a list of elements, which can be sorted by drag'n'drop. How should this feature be visually represented to users?
27
votes
14answers
3k views

Should we restrict signup for a service to Facebook accounts only?

There are obvious advantages to limiting sign-ups to a service like Facebook connect - getting a name, age, avatar, etc. without the annoyance to your customers of asking them to fill it all in. We ...
13
votes
8answers
4k views

Responsive web design Vs Separate website for Mobile

Responsive Web design is buzzword these days. which means to create a same website and optimized for all devices. There are also some website which convert the desktop websites into Mobile website ...
147
votes
13answers
11k views

Why shouldn't we use words such as 'here' and 'this' in textlinks?

Over the years of surfing on the web I have found numerous examples of people saying that you shouldn't use the word "here" in a textlink etc. Personally I like the idea of using the word, because it ...
220
votes
12answers
11k views

What to call “Cancel” when “Cancel” is already the default action?

When attempting to cancel a service or setting, "cancel" is the default action. What should the normal "cancel" button be called? Redbox uses a playful "just kidding", which may not be appropriate in ...
27
votes
9answers
6k views

Best way to select a subset of items in a long list

One of our clients wants us to build a web application to share information about the magazines he publishes. Each edition of a magazine contains a variable amount of advertisers. These advertisers ...
53
votes
13answers
66k views

Common screen resolution?

I'm developing a web application which is quite information heavy. This means that every pixel available in the screen for display helps a lot, to avoid the UI looking too cluttered and to display ...
74
votes
4answers
9k views

Why do numpads on keyboards and phones have reversed layouts?

I came across this on the web. It's supposed to be funny, but we all know better :) So, why are the numpad layouts different, and what are the reasons behind each?
21
votes
28answers
1k views

What book would you recommend as a decent 'intro to UX' aimed at non-practitioners? [closed]

Via @uxbooks on Twitter I often get asked to recommend books on various subjects. Recently I was asked which book I would recommend to a non-practitioner as an intro to UX. I opened the question up ...
415
votes
15answers
54k views

Should error messages apologize?

We are having a discussion on our team about an error message that says "Sorry, you do not have permission to access this feature. Please contact your administrator for assistance." Is it ...
391
votes
24answers
30k views

Why do people clear the screen multiple times when using a calculator?

I've noticed that most people when using a real or a virtual calculator, they hit the Clear button multiple times when clearing the screen (even though hitting it once is enough), so I started ...
100
votes
9answers
12k views

Why might right aligned field labels be better?

For the longest time, I've used left-aligned labels in my forms, like this: I did this because I thought having the labels left aligned made it easier for readers to scan the list of labels. ...
138
votes
13answers
7k 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 ...
44
votes
5answers
4k views

What research is there suggesting modal dialogs are disruptive?

It seems "Everyone" knows they're highly disruptive for many situations but often times clients don't. Particularly in desktop applications this form of dialog is often misused, often disrupting a ...
51
votes
10answers
10k 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 ...
43
votes
11answers
7k views

Has user testing found that the “three horizontal bars” for main menu on mobile is commonly understood?

"Three horizontal lines" aka "hamburger icon" seems to be becoming a convention for the "main menu" button, especially on mobile sites: Has anyone done any user testing of this convention, or got ...
39
votes
7answers
4k views

Can we do better than CAPTCHA?

There are a variety of different forms of CAPTCHA and other strategies in order to prevent spam. To briefly list a few: Simple math or word questions. Obfuscated text. JavaScript-based CAPTCHAs. ...
26
votes
10answers
12k views

What's the best way to highlight a Required field on a web form before submission?

This seems subjective, and it is; a client of mine would like me to highlight the required fields on the web forms in their application with a red asterisk, and I'm looking for an alternative since ...
22
votes
4answers
11k views

Why would a web site hide the log out button?

I have recently observed many sites that do not have a log out button. Either it's not there or hidden somewhere so that you have to find it. Why do you think this has been done? Does it apply to ...
17
votes
5answers
4k views

The notification tray at the top of Stack Exchange sites: what is it called? And are there other good examples of this?

I'm trying to clean up notifications for a client site and was wondering if the notification pattern that Stack Exchange employs has a name that I can use to search for more examples.
19
votes
7answers
5k views

Opening website external links in new window — published usability tests

In usability discussions about opening website external links in new windows, with regard to the argument of "keeping users on the site" there are occasionally references to usability studies which ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Should i use country flags in language selection fields?

My users can create content in different languages, and i need to provide an option to choose the language when they enter new content. Right now there are only 5 languages (en, fr, de, pt, es), and ...
130
votes
16answers
8k views

How to discover what users NEED and not what they WANT?

I have been thinking a lot about my favorite quote from Henry Ford: If I asked people what they wanted, they would have said 'Faster Horses'. -Henry Ford The trouble I have been having is that ...
99
votes
17answers
32k views

What is best practice for designing form error messages?

I've seen quite a lot of research on form design, but so far, I haven't come across any studies on error message design best practices. The only piece of advice seems to be that each error should ...

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