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346

The reason I believe it is important to have an apologetic tone is to ensure you are communicating to the user that, though a mistake has been made and he is interacting with a machine or application in this case, you still respect his action and are humanizing the mistake. To quote this article from UXMatters: “You’re going to display your error ...


83

While Mervin's answer is excellent, I would go beyond saying it is "acceptable" or "preferred". I would say you "must" use an apologetic tone for one very good reason: if the user is making a mistake, it is because the user does not understand the rules or logic of the system. That is not the fault of the user! It is responsibility of the system to ...


79

If a user doesn't have permission to access a particular item of content, I would suggest not displaying it at all. If the user needs to know that content they don't have access to exists - show them the content in a different form and provide them with a way of enquiring about how to gain access if necessary. Eg. as a content list (rather than semi ...


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? ...


61

I'd like to take @lazer's suggestion a step further. Why not add a small padlock icon after each of the links the user does not have permission to? Then, if the user would hover the link, I would show them a tooltip explaining that they don't have permission to view the page contents.


57

You want your users to use your service. Your users want to use the service but they need to invest first (i.e. time to upgrade their browser). Ideas: First of all be nice and show an empathic message, e.g. like Apple does if you run a browser that's not supported by iCloud Tell them why it's worth investing the time (list benefits, preview what they can ...


57

Let them know what has happened. Here are some situations with longer, clear example notifications that use proper English grammar: Only the name changed The task "foobar" has been successfully renamed to "dummy". Only the data changed The task "foobar" has been successfully updated. The name and the data changed The task "foobar" has been ...


55

Updated Answer - March 2013 Since this answer was posted on November 2012, Google has discontinued this plugin. While it might still work as of today (March, 2014) there is no guarantee of it working in the future. As of January 2014, support for Chrome Frame is discontinued: http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2013/06/chrome-frame-discontinued.html Given ...


51

Taking a step back: Why was this feature made available (visible) to the user in the first place? If it is a feature not available to a specific user (or user class), hide it. If it is a premium feature that you'd like to upsell - do so. History export is a great way to backup your data, but is available on premium accounts only. Get in touch with ...


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 ...


42

Answer "No". "Successfully" can be removed: Joel Spolsky covered this issue very well here: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/uibook/chapters/fog0000000062.html The basic rule of thumb is that: "In fact, users don't read anything. This may sound a little harsh, but you'll see, when you do usability tests, that there are quite a few users who simply do ...


41

Just because your brand color is red doesn't make the use of red for errors obsolete, it's just a matter of extent. Take the Viaplay signup form for example: Viaplay has red as their main accent color, which is used throughout the website for actions buttons, icons, header, graphic elements etc.. however, in the form they do tone down the use. They ...


39

If you are displaying a percentage, it's best to label it as a percentage. The % doesn't have to be the same size or as dark even as the main number, but is gives a lot more clarity at a low cost. In fact, any number without units is meaningless unless it actually has no units. Example:


38

You might want to briefly try explaining the value of upgrading, while promoting the action with positive language, and demoting the negative action with not exactly negative language, but just less positive. You also need to provide information for those who are unable to upgrade (for example corporate restrictions may prevent use of anything except IE6), ...


35

Yes, always show your units. As my maths teacher used to say: Ninety what?...Elephants? The problem is that people are used to seeing the percentage symbol with percentages. Therefore, it is in fact conspicuous by it's absence. That makes people think and the point is to make a UI where people don't have to think - at least not where they really don't need ...


29

In many cases the best message is no message ;) Is there the expectation of success? In these cases the only time a user wants to see a message is when something's gone wrong. Take file deletion in Windows. After the "Are you sure?" question has been answered there's no further message unless the file couldn't be deleted for some reason. Is there any other ...


27

Disable the submit button as soon as it's been pressed and show a message (or similar) to indicate the action is being processed. Disabling the button prevents repeat clicking and feedback lets the user know that something is happening. Sometimes it can seem a bit like the feedback comes back too quickly, and users can feel more comfortable if they see a ...


27

I don't find apologies very humanizing from a computer, any more than an automated hold system for a phone network makes me feel like my call is important by saying, "Your call is very important to us! Please stay on the line for the next available representative." I don't think the apologies are the main issue here. Far more important is that they are ...


26

As you've stated, it's important that the user is provided with feedback about the success / failure of the save operation. One way that some business applications achieve this is by disabling the save button when the most recent version of a file has been safely saved to disk. User clicks save. File is saved. Button is dimmed / non-clickable -> this ...


26

State the problem, simply, then explain the problem - simply. Eg: This action results in a circular reference. A circular reference is where the action uses information that depends on the action itself. Microsoft Excel kind of does this but in a typically verbose manner: Although it may make sense to explicitly state what operation was ...


24

There is a very simple rule that I use for myself: Error messages must not display error messages, they must display a solution message. The user does not care what is wrong and why, he simply wants the issue solved.


24

You could do what this GIANT Austrailian company did and charge an extra "tax" for old browsers in compensation for having to support them Kogan.com 'It appears you or your system administrator has been in a coma for over 5 years and you are still using IE7.' It begins, before going on to break the news about the costs. 'To help make the internet a ...


24

In general, using only color to indicate information is bad for accessibility reasons. Red/green colorblindness is the most common and occurs in 8% of males. Using an icon, like an X or warning sign, is the best way to go. If you must differentiate color for business reasons (i.e. people at the top think it should be a different color), then pick one that ...


24

TLDR; A time based message (timestamp, declarative sentence, or both) in the pull to refresh tray assists user understanding of the age of data shown in the feed. New items available to pull can be indicated with a visual counter. Example: Tweetbot has executed their pull to refresh in a useful, informative way. The time based message is always shown as ...


23

I worked on a very similar project to yours where users could only view the content based upon their access permissions. Though the initial reaction from the stakeholders was to just show content, to which the users had access, there was also feedback that users might have wanted access to specific content. Thus, hiding unauthorized content would have lead ...


23

Yes, error messages should apologize when it's plausible to do so. People will ascribe human emotions to computers, so the computers should be polite, particularly to users who expect people to be polite. For example, websites designed for the elderly would benefit from very polite messages both to show that the site and not the user is at fault to ...


21

What about reseting to the safe behavior after an appropriate interval? For example, cars have some features that you are allowed to leave 'on' across restarts, but others (e.g. cruise control, seat heaters) must be re-enabled every time you start the car. In your system you could re-enable the security measures when they log out, if they're really that ...


21

Annoying user experiences are broken user experiences, well intentioned or not. Why the struggle in the workflow? Why do the users (think they need to) turn off security? Can they do something they aren't otherwise able to do? Why shouldn't they do what they do? Should they be able to turn off the security? Is there a permissioning solution? ...


20

A progress bar should be an indication of how far the process is. If someone sees a progress bar 50% complete, they are most likely going to assume that it is half way done. In your situation, that is not the case, so you should avoid using a progress bar, unless you have some way of pre calculating approximately how long each process will take. In that ...


18

I have found a study on this topic, quite long actually: Matzat Snijders vdHorst accepted version And also have a Luke Wrobleski 'seminar' on this topic http://videos.visitmix.com/MIX09/C17F - and he has wrote about web form design as well And one more on scribd Rethinking-The-Progress-Bar - "This paper explores the impact of various progress bar ...



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