Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

216

Persona Meet Carlos. He is an academic course-coordinator in a university. He is a very busy man who spends most of the day in front of his computer. User Observation As Carlos goes on about his daily tasks, every half an hour or so he checks the time. Reasons vary: How long has he got before the 11:00 meeting? How long before lunch time? How long ...


73

You're introducing two big problems right off the bat; breaking conventions and clashing styles. Don't forget that Apple and Microsoft have released different interface guidelines for their respective platforms : Windows UX Guidelines and the OS X UX Guidelines. Using conventions is important and helps users work in your app without thinking (Don't Make Me ...


71

Trust me when I say this - undo/redo is one of the biggest implementation, testing and maintenance headaches in any significantly sized application. Granted, it is a wonderful thing to be able to undo/redo something as it relaxes the user and lets them test and explore their environment without worry. However, the usefulness of an undo history starts to ...


37

The users experience in your application should fit with the experience they have come to understand and work within in their chosen (or forced upon) OS. They have built laws and rules of interaction on that experience, for good or bad. A major drawback with designing an app to look more like OS X UI than Windows 7 or Vista UI is that the overall look and ...


25

Google has solved this long ago - no use reinventing the wheel. ;) I'd suggest you remove the need to choose, and do three searches at the same time: "exact phrase", "match all words", AND "match any". Then unite (SQL "union") those results in that order, and present them to the user. Drawbacks: more load on your database. Positives: more natural ...


20

The desktop clock, or for that matter even the calendar, are primarily meant as a reflection of the date/time that the system is currently following. The user of the system obviously knows the date/time (from his own watch or phone or otherwise), but he also expects to be reassured that the system he's working on is following the same date/time. For ...


19

The guidelines for Windows 8 desktop applications are the same as for Windows 7. That means that you'll find them here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa511440.aspx Windows 8 has two separate UIs: Windows Store apps (formerly known as "Metro-style apps") and Desktop. Windows Store apps is the new, future oriented touch UI. ...


18

You could try to approach this with an, "tell them about better ways to do what they are doing when they do it" approach. For example, if I am selecting text and clicking bold, that is fine, but if I do that over and over maybe have a modeless (non disruptive, out of the way) notification that could say something like, "Did you know you can press ctrl-b to ...


17

Common patterns to indicate draggability: Drag handles This goes towards affordance. Users need to be able to recognize something can be dragged just by looking at it. A "grippy surface" is a common metaphor for this. Cursor A grab-hand makes sense as well as the arrows (move) cursor. Currently grab is Webkit-only. Also note that some devices don't have a ...


15

Besides the obvious... An indication that what is on screen is not the complete content. For example: Text stops mid sentence A border box shows no bottom but has the left and right edges stopping at the bottom. Even more emphasized if they have drop shadows. Text or lists that cut off the bottom half of a line. Pictures cut in half Long text which has a ...


14

For Mac OS X, it's Application Name | Preferences… For MS Windows, it's Tools | Options or Edit | Preferences (see comments) For GNOME, it's Edit | Preferences


14

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups How about this? Just replace the checkboxes with radio buttons. Color channel - selecting Lossless disables the slider, and selecting Lossy enables it. Alpha channel - selecting Lossless sets the slider to 100% and selecting Lossy and setting it to 100% manually doesn't affect ...


13

From A history of Windows: 1982–1985: Introducing Windows 1.0 Microsoft works on the first version of a new operating system. Interface Manager is the code name and is considered as the final name, but Windows prevails because it best describes the boxes or computing “windows” that are fundamental to the new system. From Wikipedia: The ...


13

The User: Spends half an hour searching for the product. Finally finds it. Downloads it. Low bandwidth: it takes 10 minutes. Installs/starts it. ("Oh! I downloaded a downloader, not the application! Where is the difference anyway?") The downloader downloads. Low bandwidth: it takes another 40 minutes. The application installs itself. Result: The user ...


12

If I were you, I would add tooltips like on Microsoft Excel 2010 and add help page with a list of shortcuts (something like this). I think that should be enough. Screenshot of russian Microsoft Excel, displaying tooltip when hovering over bold icon.


11

I agree with @Nir that what you currently have is functional. It is difficult to miss the fact that not all records may be visible. What I don't like is the uncertainty, i.e. how you state that "proteins may be hidden". Are they hidden or not? This screen snapshot describes a couple of different ways of doing it: The record count is shown on top, ...


11

On the one side, Mobile UIs provide features that are well-suited for touch based interaction on small screens (which is not the case in the desktop). On the other side, mobile UIs emphasize: the need to focus on the task in hand, the need for being responsive and the role of content among other aspects that can be applied to desktop apps. These principles ...


11

They are distinct: OK: Applies the changes and closes the dialog (or goes back to the previous location / one level up) Apply: Applies the changes so the user can see / work with the results, but keeps the dialog open, ready for further modifications Cancel: closes the dialog without applying any changes. The "Close button" in the window title usually acts ...


11

While there are some blogs that cover a bit of this stuff, I think the best way to keep on top of it is to read the blogs and case studies covering the products themselves. For Photoshop, John Nack's blog is the best place to go. He's the Principal Product Manager for Photoshop at Adobe and often talks about some of the problems they face. For Windows, ...


11

I believe this application (Skype) and many other communication type applications including instant-messengers, email clients and other VOIP apps, hi-jack the "X" button to minimize the more user-frustrating event of accidentally ending a users communication session. In many cases, users might simply want to get the application of the screen, the fastest and ...


10

To facilitate the discovery of shortcuts you can provide information of some shortcuts when the CTRL key is pressed. In this way, when the user uses a basic shortcut (e.g., CTRL+C to copy) small tooltips can appear over the ribbon to indicate that more shortcuts are available. Another option to announce the availability of shortcuts is to indicate them in ...


10

The main issue is that you break learned patterns and conventions. You are a mac user, so – naturally – you find your way around iTunes' interface, on whatever platform it may be running. The users of the app, however, will most likely be windows users. They have learned the design principles and gui conventions windows offers, and will have an easy time ...


10

No, a desktop app should remember the way it was set last time it was used - size, position and mode (minimized, maximized, normal) - and open in exactly the same way. Please note that minimizing and maximizing a window changes its size and possibly its position settings, so to achieve this a desktop app should remember the size and position values when it ...


10

It's not. There remain vastly more desktop users than mobile users; 1.25 billion. The current number of active Windows users worldwide. 500 million. The number of Windows 7 licenses sold since October 2009. 400 million. The number of x86 PCs that will be sold in the next 12 months. 247 million. The number of iOS devices (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad) ...


10

The following are a list of sites I visit weekly to see what's up and new. It is a mix of design, graphics, UX, resources. Their strength comes from following links in their articles, opening to door to more resources. http://www.webappers.com http://designmodo.com http://designrfix.com http://djdesignerlab.com http://www.smashingapps.com ...


9

There isn't a single skinned application I didn't end up hating. Seriously, the skins I've seen are there purely to make the application look "richer" than a normal Windows application and ends up doing nothing more than suck up memory and CPU in order to look like a pig with lipstick on and eventually fail with paint issues. I loathe skinned applications ...


9

You already named the definitive sources for desktop applications for the two major operating systems. Those guidelines from Apple and Microsoft are what you should be following.


9

My first thought is that most people will abandon the secondary naming scheme you assign each colour, and will probably call each state by its colour. The first real-world example of this behaviour that comes to mind is the American Department of Homeland Security's (discontinued) colour-coded threat level warning system. You will note that, even in the ...


9

Since you mentioned Windows, I would direct you to the Windows UX guidelines on confirmations: Confirmations They recommend the Yes - No - Not Now form (Yes/No/Cancel). I would however recommend more semantic button labels than 'Yes' and 'No', but I know this is just a question about positioning. Edit (in response to Isaiah's answer): Yes, these are ...


9

The desktop metaphor and windows is not the same thing at all. One could implement a desktop instance with no windows, where you'd only be able to view an entire document. That would not be a very useful implementation, but I mention it to make the point that the desktop metaphor was extended to make use of the affordances that technology made available. ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible