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217

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 ...


78

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


28

There is a clock on the desktop so that people can tell the time! This is the same reason there is a clock on my mobile phone, wireless phone, oven, microwave oven, car, weather station and iPod. They have clocks because a clock is useful and easy to implement.


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

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 ...


20

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. ...


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 ...


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 ...


14

Generalising between platforms I would go with the following basic guidelines, they further emphasise a disabled field with a grey background. Normal (with a value) Black text, white background, black border. Normal (with a placeholder) Grey text, white background, black border. Disabled Grey text, slightly lighter grey bg, grey border. E.g.


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.


12

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 ...


12

I am as surprised as you that users have difficulties to add a folder with this standard dialog window. But users are surprising, that is why we like them I don't think there is a perfect solution but maybe what you need is a combination of complementary solutions First you should keep this "folder selection" system because it is the more standard for ...


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

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 ...


11

I have nothing but anecdotal evidence, but I know exactly what the issue is. Average people don't know where their files are. I'm going to broadly group everyone into two categories. Power users These people understand where there files are, can think through nested folders and easily browse what they want from the dialog you've presented. Their ...


11

In my experience if you want them to focus on something, you need to make it as clear as possible. If you are looking to have them focus on the month, then you should focus on the month directly. Comparing your two examples, the second one is far, far easier to understand, but I would definitely use the full month names, instead of dates. I think the month ...


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 ...



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