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932

Both ways seem to pose a false-positive paradigm. This can be simpler and not have to force the user to spend time making sense of the color-to-label association. Simply make the "Delete" button more prominent. Make the "Cancel" button less prominent. In regards to the labeling within the buttons, there is no need to put much context into what essentially ...


364

(Older) pocket calculators sometimes have several “cancel” buttons (C, CE, etc.) Typically, the CE button would only clear the last entry but not interrupt the current computation. For example, if you press 10 + 1 CE, you would see a 0, but the calculator still expects a second operand for the addition (i.e. it still has "10 +" in memory). Often, there would ...


360

Never use 'Yes' or 'OK' when you could use a verb instead. And you can almost always use a verb instead of 'Yes' or 'OK'. I agree with Lukas Mathis' postulation that nobody reads your dialog boxes. Use a verb whenever possible instead of 'Yes' or 'OK' because your buttons will make sense out of context with the explanatory text or title. This is a view ...


253

Other answerers have provided great logical reasons for how these habits could come about, but I think it is simpler than that (plus, how often are any of us logical?). Calculators obviously have a state, since they do multi-step operations, but they don't clearly show their state. In many calculators, if you see a zero on the screen, you have no idea if ...


217

I'm not so sure you should be thinking only in terms of red and green. Red has typically been associated with danger, potentially dating back to the middle ages (citation needed). A quick Google image search for "delete" yields almost entirely red images. To me (and to bootstrap) green indicates success, red indicates danger. As deleting is a dangerous ...


175

Besides the arguments others have listed (Aircraft requirements, power saving) we should not forget about security. Before the tablet and smartphone era you had a great control over your computer in an emergency: if you pulled the UTP cable, you could guarantee that the computer is isolated from the network. If you pulled the power cord, you could guarantee ...


158

Looking at this from a slightly different angle, where possible you could consider removing the confirmation entirely and switching instead to an "Do/Undo" process. This method is often used across the Google services: It has the advantages that it's culturally neutral and more efficient for the user (one-click rather than two to delete). Disadvantage ...


140

Security A hardware radio switch has security benefits to it in that when it is off, you know for a fact that nothing is connected to your laptop wirelessly. The radio switch usually turns off all wireless communication, including Bluetooth and 3G. I have heard that this is a requirement in certain military environments, but I have not seen any evidence ...


107

I would suggest removing the Reset button entirely. See this excerpt from the Nielsen Norman Group: Reset: Don't Use The Web would be a happier place if virtually all Reset buttons were removed. This button almost never helps users, but often hurts them. Reset clears away the user's input on a Web form, but why would people want to do that? ...


106

I'm guessing they viewed the button on the right hand side as the primary action button as it's closer to the users thumb, with the button on the left for secondary/less-used action, as it's slightly further away from the thumb (more of a physical exertion on the user). They then may have wanted to label them accordingly - so A for primary button, B for ...


102

In About Face 2.0 (there is a v3 but I haven't got it) Cooper and Reimann (2003, pp. 341-2) treat this subject under the heading "Flip-flop buttons: A selection idiom to avoid". I strongly suggest to consult this book as I will only present an excerpt: Flip-flop button controls are very efficient. They save space by controlling two mutually exclusive ...


96

As with everything: user test! Thankfully, usability hero Jakob Nielsen jumps to the rescue here in his Alertbox article about OK/Cancel buttons: Should the OK button come before or after the Cancel button? Following platform conventions is more important than suboptimizing an individual dialog box. Kostya was right on the mark in advising ...


73

To provide several channels of feedback: haptic: "I feel the key has been pressed", optic: "I see the key change its color" and auditive: "I hear the system felt that I pressed the key". The change in the graphic interface is the effect of this action, and thus an additional, indirect form of feedback. Why should different channels be provided at once? ...


72

Excellent answers so far. I would attempt to connect the dots between recording and red button like this: Apart from the traditional warning usage, a red light has been used in many scenarios to represent on-going work - radio show room when on air, operation theater when operation is going on, etc. The reason behind that would be the same - it is highly ...


70

The reason for the design was because of the technology at the time. Rotary Dial (Pulse dialing) To dial a number, the user puts a finger in the corresponding finger hole and rotates the dial clockwise until it reaches the finger stop. The user then pulls out the finger, and a spring in the dial returns it to the resting position. For example, if ...


65

Yes, it's absolutely needed for non-technical audience. Google was experimenting with this on their homepage and they kept the button. People expect to click on something and user interface is always about matching people expectations. This issue is being addressed in HTML5 spec. Once <input type="search" /> gets adopted, explicit search buttons will ...


63

With all due respect, I think every answer so far has missed the mark somewhat. First of all, based on the Context section of your question ... Context Before deleting an album, the user is asked to confirm the action. ... we can deduce that this is not a success or error modal, but rather it is a confirmation modal, which implies a warning or ...


61

On some old calculators, the clear button had double duty: push once for clear-entry push twice for clear-all I think this meant that people tended to press clear a few times, to ensure that everything was cleared. It is possible that three clicks would clear the memory as well. This is one of those habits that people acquired early on in the use of ...


60

Short Answer: Quite a late answer, but I'm surprised no one here pointed this out before -- it is possible for a toggle switch to show its current state and the state to which it will change simply by having text outside the button, instead of on it. Long Answer: As dotancohen points out above, The problem is that in English "on" and "off" are both ...


59

The answer is in user interface guidelines for the system you use. For Windows Present the commit buttons in the following order: OK/[Do it]/Yes [Don't do it]/No Cancel Apply (if present) Help (if present) So Cancel is always on the right of OK button. For MacOS A button that initiates an action is furthest to the right. The ...


56

Known as contour bias (see this page from the book Universal Principles of Design), rounded corners make objects appear less harsh and more friendly. The book cites the seminal work on contour bias as being this article Humans Prefer Curved Visual Objects by Moshe Bar and Maital Net However, note that rounded corners are not necessarily the right answer - ...


55

Ultimately it's probably not a good idea to go down this path without serious testing because of user expectation based around existing conventions. That's an important point, because what I'm taking away from your description is that this is currently untested and you designed this UI under the assumption that your users would understand. This is generally ...


54

The use of short words like Yes/No on buttons can be confusing if the user misreads the message on the dialog, especially if the messages are written badly. (So keep messages succinct and unambiguous in the first place) Having yes/no ok/cancel actually forces the user to have to read and understand the message before knowing what the options apply to. For ...


53

There is no universal download button that, based on the language in your question, would make this particular situation any easier. The first issue is that there simple is no "universal download" button, other that putting the word "download" (or some variation of) on the button. You can associate an icon with it, but any icon is at the mercy of the user's ...


52

Airplanes These switches allow you to disable wireless transmitters without first turning them on in the middle of a flight, when their use may be prohibited. There seems to be some consternation regarding this answer. I have reworded it to address some of the concerns that have been voiced. In addition... I'm not saying that any rules regarding the ...


51

I'm sure we can find a better button label than "Ok". What about telling the user what he or she's accomplishing? Examples "Save", "Add", etc. As per Samuel post, keeping the button de-activated until an option is selected would be a good practice too, unless adding a specific criteria is not mandatory.


48

On clicking the save button in almost any application for the first time, you are asked where to save the file. If your application does not do this, it would be understandable that people are unsure as to whether it has worked or not. My advice would be to grey out the icon and replace the icon with a spinner while the save operation is taking place. Even ...


47

I would probably suggest icon first, then text; the text after the icon could then theoretically be any length (within reason), as opposed to the 'text first' approach which would leave your icon trailing behind in the distance. Also languages like English, Greek and Latin, or ones written in Cyrillic script are all written and read from left to right ...


45

These dots, referred to as an ellipsis, always mean that there are additional options. For example when you see "Print..." it is indicating that there will be another step before there is anything sent to the printer. Taken from The Microsoft UX Guidlines: Design concepts Using ellipses While command buttons are used for immediate actions, more ...


44

Circular buttons can work well when an icon is all that's needed inside. A good example of this is Path. Their single icon buttons are circular and work well. However, to fit a word in the button, like 'Register', the button would have to be as tall as it is wide, taking up a lot of valuable space and creating a huge button. If using completely circular ...



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