Hot answers tagged anti-patterns
I'd suggest that the most common UI misconception is this: That my users are interested in my application. Most users aren't interested in your application at all. In most cases if your users could replace your application with a large red button marked "Go", they would. And then they'd train a monkey to press the button over and over, go home, and ...
Poor form validation design. I hate it when I submit a form which fails validation and the application does any of the following: Fields are BLANK when the form reloads. This happened to me while signing up for a web app on my iPhone. I was royally pissed because there were over 8 fields. Displays only one validation error per form submit. Does not ...
Not putting clickable labels on checkboxes and other form fields. It's so easy to do. See the HTML <label> tag.
Poor design when it comes to Primary vs Secondary action buttons on forms. http://www.lukew.com/resources/articles/psactions.asp
Users use the back & forward buttons in their browser (or on their mouse). And they use the refresh button too. So be careful with form posts on your website. Nobody likes this... This dialog box appears when you refresh the page that the data is posted to. Fortunately, it can be avoided by using method="get" when possible, or method="post" ...
"My users are other software developers who want to be informed of every technical detail just like I would." :)
The belief that users don't know how to scroll (everything needs to be above the fold).
Asking mandatory personal information in registration forms when they are not necessary. Examples : asking an address on a website where this information is useless Forcing to enter a "real" name ... Making this information mandatory is the best way to get a really polluted database full of "dummy", "firstname.lastname@example.org", etc. because most people don't like to ...
There is a GREAT collection of user experience myths at http://uxmyths.com/ with wonderful supporting evidence as well. I just found this last week.
target="_blank" on anchors is one of the most common, and the one I hate most. There are some cases which it makes sense, though, to my opinion. Here's a rather known list of Top 10 Mistakes on Web Design: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/9605.html
When the functionality of the back button is disabled or changed from what the user would expect. I see this a lot on applications that use custom dialog / lightboxes / iframes.
"Everything should have options"
Making me hunt for the "forgot your password?" link, and then once I click it, sending me my password in the clear1 once I find it. Our dear Jeff Atwood covered it quite well in "You're Probably Storing Passwords Incorrectly" 1 Admittedly, this part is more of a programming problem, but I consider it a usability problem as well.
Nowhere to close your account or or making it really hard to find where to close your account. Ideally you want a section "Account" or something worded similarly, and on that page, aside from all the other stuff you want there, a clearly labeled link or button that says "close my account". You can follow that with a page that asks users why they're leaving ...
Using checkboxes as radiobuttons and vice-versa.
It's an anti-pattern that has unfortunately resulted from a legitimate problem: people type in the wrong email address and then after sign up, can't access their account. The problem here is that this solution isn't very user friendly because it's going against conventional interaction (namely, that you can copy and paste from and to form fields). There's ...
Horizontal scrolling is terrible. Users almost always complain about it, and it's particularly a problem when paired with vertical scrolling; there's nothing worse than trying to scroll a site on mobile when you keep scrolling horizontally on accident. Lots of data backs up this idea in web user's behavior; Horizontal Attention Leans Left (for Left to Right ...
If I use rounded corners in my design, everything will look better.
Applications stealing focus when I'm working in a different app. For example: start Photoshop, get back to work in MS Word, Photoshop steals focus when it's done starting. Quite annoying
(Since your profile indicates you're a developer, I'm going to answer this in the same way I help out programmers at my company. Let me know if you need another angle.) I don't think hierarchical menus in administrative UIs are an anti-pattern. However, it is an example of "programmer thinking" when it comes to interface design. What you're likely doing is ...
Horizontal scrolling like all other features requires certain conditions to exist in order to be comfortable. These conditions include display technology (screen & layout) and the navigation control technology (input devices). Let's look at the brief history of them all. Nearly all analog means of presenting information have had horizontal scrolling: ...
The question is a bit too general and actually more of a discussion. I can contribute one thing I've seen repeatedly: Forms that have a "clear all" button. Some of those even design both "submit" and "clear all" buttons the same, giving them equal weight. Not to mention that I've seen examples (don't have a specific link in mind right now...) where the ...
UI is always GUI. In the sense that UI doesn't have to be Graphical.
One thing that annoys me - and is the cause of many of the annoyances you'll see on this page - are organisations that think they can figure out out how their customers will use their product without actually getting their customers to use their product! I'm amazed at the number of companies who still don't invest in quick, cheap guerilla usability testing. ...
Having a gazillion options in there settings that's impossible to navigate. I always felt like internet explorer was bad about this:
One common name for this anti-pattern is Mystery Meat. As described in Designing Web Interfaces: Have you ever found a can in the back of the pantry whose label has long since fallen off? The only way to identify this mystery meat is to open it. Unidentifiable icons are pretty much the same as a row of unlabeled cans. You have to hover over each ...
Apps that don't follow the OS' conventions, such as apps that minimise to an icon in the tray when you click "close", or apps that add themselves to startup automatically without asking/notifying you. It's a UI problem because any competent UI designer would scream in anguish at the implied end user fury resulting from implementing something like that. I ...
Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible