Hot answers tagged

102

If a user can't find an option or feature, then it doesn't exist There has to be some means by which a user who is looking for a feature can reasonably expect to find it, and by which users can browse features to learn what is available. Well-designed menus are really good at this. Clusters of related buttons and displays too, especially with tool tips. ...


37

I've done some search without any specific result, so I will answer considering usability principles and software history: Legacy The undo function was already here in the 70's but was not until the appearance and expansion of graphical interfaces and increasing popularity of desktop computers that it got its icon identity. In those times the users didn't ...


30

You'd probably needs someone who works at Microsoft to answer this one, but from the outside observer, there are a number of reasons why this might be the case: They cater for a very diverse group of users: think about the audience and users of Microsoft products and perhaps this is a way to accommodate all the different ways that people might use the ...


22

Line numbers need to be countable. It is more intuitive to start counting at 1 instead of 0, because 0 (say: zero) means none, not one. Looking at a coffee mug on your table, you would not answer the question of how many mugs there are by saying: "Zero" - because that would imply no mug at all is on your table. Thus with line numbers, and almost every other ...


20

I believe that it is meant to represent an analog clock, where the Undo function shows the time sweeping backwards, while the Redo shows the time moving forwards again.


17

Kontur is correct. But I would also like the add that Arrays in programming start at 0 for a very specific reason. This is not because the number in an array is supposed to 'count' the amount of elements, but instead it is considered an offset value, and thus array[0] merely means that the specific entry is 0 memory positions away from the start of the array ...


17

I believe it is to differentiate between the "Back Button" and "Forward Button" which is commonly represented with a straight arrow. Back buttons (and forward) represent and action that will navigate backward to a different place, i.e. the page that you were on previous to the current one. The undo button is round because it is rolling back to a ...


12

What it is the value of WYSIWIG? It provides immediacy and the ability to fiddle quickly. Bret Victor capures it perfectly in this video where he shows the importance of immediacy in the creative process during the coding of animations and games. Creativity benefits hugely from experimentation, playing and being in the moment. You can't achieve that by ...


12

Often this can be summed up with 2 words. Backwards Compatibility The original Word users likely migrated from WordPerfect.. Which was very keyboard focused cause when you type that's where your hands are. Thus when Word first had its menus and toolbars they had to support hot keys too. When they came out with "personalized menus" where options not used ...


11

Keyboard shortcuts The fastest. Tool bars It's the fastest if it is impractical to set a keyboard shortcut for everything. And if it wasn't an editor, people sometimes just don't want to use a keyboard for whatever reasons. Context menus They are more likely showing what the users intended to do. Changing the tool bars too much on the fly may distract ...


10

The question you need to ask is: Will enabling pasting of rich text add value to my application? Will it add more users? Will it help retain users? Will it make them more productive? etc. If the answer is "yes" then you need to weigh that against the cost - which in this case is the effort required to sanitise the input and the cost of not sanitising ...


8

It's simply very painful to remove features from established software. Featuritus is often a marketing advantage. The initial redundancy of being able to invoke an action via menu or keyboard is proven useful pattern - some people prefer to use the mouse (menu) and some prefer the keyboard. The menus are more discoverable but the keyboard is faster. This ...


6

Early languages like FORTRAN had the first element of an array starting with 1, and it was weird when C came along to use 0. That's only natural to you youngsters. FORTRAN started with 1 because it was natural to number things in a list starting with 1. C started with 0 because it was a language deliberately written to be close to the hardware, whereas ...


5

In the web application I work with, pasting of Office material caused some significant issues (including embedded stylesheets that broke the entire page). But this is not an indictment of pasting actually... my recommendation is to allow pasting. But post-process the HTML submitted and remove all but allowed HTML tags. In particular, make sure to strip mso ...


5

The undo button is commonly styled as an arrow going back on itself. If you've ever taken a wrong turn at an intersection, the first reaction would be to do a U-turn and go back to the intersection to try again. The redo button would presumably be styled as just the opposite of undo. It basically is a U-turn button. Straight left-or-right buttons can easily ...


4

In The Humane Interface by Jef Raskin, he argues that the best way to ensure that the user knows both what state they are in and what they can do is to avoid modes (e.g. locked mode, unlocked mode). This means instead of toggling between locked and unlocked buttons, show buttons for both--one that is on and that one is off. Although you lose in space savings ...


4

In my honest opinion, the really great code editors have your basic features plus they are designed almost exclusively for a single language. The more specific (and less generic) the editor is designed the better it will implement all of the tiny little details of Python or Java or C++... FAST (read ... faster than Netbeans or Eclipse, even if that means ...


4

Remove the chrome. People don't like living in houses with scaffolding. Similarly, it's hard to read an expression where everything is surrounded by a box and has several buttons attached. Generally you want to start by asking "What is the most understandable format that I can write this expression in?" Use a whiteboard, and imagine you're trying to explain ...


4

Microsoft's Jensen Harris wrote an extensive series of blog posts about the MS Office 2007 UI design as it evolved, which went into a great deal of detail about (what was then) the radical new ribbon design, why they kept what they kept, and why they changed what they changed. Obviously a little dated now, but well worth a read.


3

One solution would be to use one row for every item. Here's how we did it: The example is iOS, not Android but the pattern stays the same. Additional thought: You don't need a cancel button.


3

In general I think this is an example of the client describing their required solution not their problem. I presume, for instance, that the client uses Word to typeset web content because of a few useful features, like WYSIWYG, "Track Changes" and the ability to send around a document for discussion. It's my guess (and it's only a guess, since it depends on ...


3

The better solution will be to show both views at the same pane so your user will not need to switch between windows or tabs. You may also add ability to Pop up the preview or close it, and let users resize it so it will occupy as much space as needed:


3

The second option makes a few assumptions. First, a fact: Headers are block-level HTML elements, not styling elements. Selecting exactly every character you want can be rather tedious and very frustrating at times. Given that, this option assumes that if a user clicks anywhere in a paragraph they just wrote and changes the block-level style, they want to ...


3

I'm no iOS-Expert but when you press Ctrl + F inside of Mozilla Firefox the Search is at the very Bottom, only searching the current page, while the global search such as google.com is at the very top. User Clint did a good Job with pointing out that there is a guideline for iOS Search boxes. Most times the upper part is something that has a higher order. ...


3

The idea behind those icons is to visually represent a thing coming back in a circle. Now the icons were mainly popularized by Microsoft as they became mainstream with the popularity of its office package. From a usability perspective the icons are not that bad but you have to accompany them with labels that clearly spell out the word "Undo" and "Redo." ...


2

Very good question actually. I think there are two ways to deal with this: The editor is a dialog box or a separate window. The editor is not a dialog box or separate window. E.g. it's a properties pane on the main window. In the first case it is simple: the user can do all the changes he wants, the changes take effect after he presses OK or Apply. (...


2

There is a sort of hybrid answer. I came across this application and was rather impressed with it. Basically you can define the possible structure of the document with an XML file, and then the user is guided to fill it out within those constraints. I am not sure if that is exactly what you are looking for, but it might be an avenue worth perusing to get ...


2

Generally if a user has made a change, generally it was intentional and they want to keep it, so I would keep "save" as the default field. To help people be sure about which option they're choosing (so they don't blindly click) I'd check out the information in Luke Wroblewski's Primary & Secondary Actions in Web Forms . Overall, it seems that people ...


2

The panel that users use for editing the object is called a control panel (I took the name from Adobe Illustrator), and it is a horizontal panel located at the top. And as for the toolbox, you are right, thin column is better and should be at left side. So, the control panel at the top would be dynamic, it will change in content as the user focus ...



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