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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 ...


34

This quote is cute, often cited, and actually simply wrong. Even the nipple (as a feeding ‘device’) is learned – just ask some midwives and dry-nurses how many young mothers struggle with teaching(sic!) their newborns how to drink. Taking this into account, one should rather reconsider the concept of ‘intuitive’. See e.g. Glen's and Michael's answers.


29

Good question. Wikipedia lists intuition as "thoughts and preferences that come to mind quickly and without much reflection" - so basically, saying a UI is intuitive is like saying it exhibits several positive attributes: it's memorable, discoverable, easy to learn, familiar, matches expectation, and so forth. But let's not take my word for it. Let's refer ...


27

At work we have a staff development system that only displays the login button if you are browsing in Firefox. Every time a class is held, our helpdesk receives calls from people who are unable to log in. Every call has to do with the fact that they don't see a login button. We now have to go out of our way to tell the users they have to hit enter to log ...


24

“Intuitive” (technically, it should be “intuitable”) means the user can use the UI without having to consciously stop and figure the UI out. Learned habituated responses are performed without conscious thought, so intuitive includes more than instincts. Intuitive is desirable because the less the user has to think about the UI, the more they can focus on ...


22

Which is more important depends on what you are designing. My general guidelines would be: Intuitive matters mast when you're designing an app that people aren't going to invest time into learning. It's important that they get a win as soon as possible, and that means that they need to be able to use the product with little or no time learning it. Think of ...


19

Typically even a tri-state checkbox is still to be treated as a two-state check box in terms of the user's interaction. The user should not be able to switch it between all three states - only between checked and unchecked. It is only if the information that is related is not in either state that the box is 'displayed' in the tri-state. What does it even ...


18

Oh you really nailed it with this question. So, I could say the star is better because Google uses it for "starring" in all of its products (think Gmail, Google Bookmarks, search results, etc). But at the same time, Amazon uses it for ratings and so do dozens of other web properties. So when you see a single star, what does that suggest to you? Then there's ...


17

It's a cute quote, but not entirely accurate. The human body is intuitive. How do you use your eyes? How do you digest food? How do you use your brain to learn? Intuition: The act or faculty of knowing or sensing without the use of rational processes; immediate cognition. We use alot of labels to describe how easy a system is to understand and ...


15

I'm worried that perhaps your question is flawed. You are looking for a general answer like, "the faceted search pattern is always going to be more intuitive than the search suggestions pattern," but any answer like that would ignore the most crucial factor: audience. Intuition, and therefore intuitiveness, is a human thing, not a design thing. In a sense, ...


15

I really like Rahul's response, but I will add my own 2 cents. I've grown extremely hesitant to use the Enter key on any Web form due to uncertainty about its default function. I'm just not sure what it's going to do! Some people aren't as careful with their development efforts, and they fail to specify default buttons for a form properly, confusing users ...


13

For an infant, the nipple is not an intuitive interface. Children do not see a nipple and understand how to use it; it is a physical reflex called the Sucking or Rooting Reflex that is a series of motor motions an infant will perform if anything is near it's mouth. That's why infants will suck on your finger as readily as a nipple, and why they will suck on ...


13

The conceptual model isn't "left arrow moves the elements left"; it's "left arrow takes me to the element on the left". With indirect manipulation like this, it's probably fair to assume that users are thinking in terms of the content they're consuming rather than the spatial projection of the UI.


10

If you have any blind users, the expectation will be a button of some kind. Otherwise, there will be no indication as to how to log-in, unless you somehow detect a screen reader and allow a button in this specific case.


10

Have you considered users that don't have a physical keyboard? People that use an iPad or a phone with a touch-screen?


10

The main reason for that, IMO, is if the user is logging in from a location that is not necessarily their home or normal one - public computer, friends house, etc. By not "remembering me" I signify that I don't want the site to remember my username making it easier for someone to guess my user ID and pass. Yes, I should log out, but what if I forget? ...


10

There is very simple logic behind it and that is difference of perspective. For example Make a frame of your fingers and like shown in the image below and turn your "frame" towards the right and see what happens. you move your frame right and your vision moves left. you move your frame left and your vision moves right. Now you have to pic one of the ...


9

Two other features that are less intuitive in my opinion are: the fact that you can no longer select several taskbar items with ctrl+click. On XP, that was the way I used to close multiple windows. And not only does this not work now, but it does the exact opposite of what it used to do, creating another instance of the ctrl+clicked app. I've been using ...


9

The heart can mistaken for "Like" and the star can be mistaken for rating. Usually it's better to have a word next to icons (at least on the main view / page). soundcloud.com does it like that: On their page it says "save to favorites" next to the heart (or "remove from favorites" when already added). On their apps (Mac OS and iOS) they only use the heart ...


8

The convention is to have an upward arrow for ascending lists and a downward arrow for descending lists. It doesn’t work. In usability testing I’ve done, users are evenly split on whether my name ends up at the top or bottom of the list no matter which arrow you show. Part of the problem is there is just something cognitively weird about an upward arrow ...


8

I'm not sure that these are two competing models. I remember some online discussion over the merits of FAT vs. NTFS, and then some Apple guy came by and said something like "Apple users don't even know they have a file system". I think this made the Digg front page. The point is that MS and Apple are indeed trying to get away from the file system, ...


7

So if I'm not mistaken, if I'm really reading this correctly, the Cancel button Cancels the Cancel button? It sounds like it could easily confuse folk. What is the tone of voice like in your system? I like to use real English as it allows for more precise descriptions, so I'd have something like "Are you sure you want to cancel?" with "Yes, please cancel" ...


7

There could be another neutral color — black or gray — for notification messages, neither sucessful nor warning with the goal only to say something without any expression. In your case it can be useful, because sucessful meaning of green is formally correct, but really can be confusing of "red nature" of deletion. So such neutral colors can also be used ...


7

These are generally calledRadial menus or Pie menus. Radial menus appear around a touch/click target and you move to the section of the circle to make your selection. Radial menus are a design often used for tablets and touch. There's lots of research out there on radial menus: Modeling Hierarchical Menu Selections: Effects of Additive Factors The ...


6

Looks like JohnGB beat me to it. As he says, efficiency wins out when: the user will be spending a lot of time with the application the application will become important to the user, and they have an investment in understanding its nuances the application exists in a time-critical domain A good example might be a stock tracking application for a city ...


6

Yellow (maybe). I say maybe because it might clash horribly with your site design colors, or even blend in with your site design colors. See my answer from here: Design pattern or best practices for top notification bars? Should Color or Animation be used? If the notification is pinned to the top of the window then it is likely to be towards the user's ...


6

I've seen a similar approach used successfully in pointer and stylus based input systems. It's called a "Pie Menu" or "Radial Menu". Radial Menus are a bit uncommon but they have very good Fitt's Law results Here's a great article about designing pie menus. Radial menus don't always have the "drag" control like your proposed menu, but it's been shown to be ...


6

I speculate that you have two main types of user in this situation: People who have a particular time/date in mind and want to find a free room (any room) on that date ("I need to arrange an urgent meeting for Tomorrow morning and I don't care where"); People who require a particular room and want to find a date when that room is free ("I want to book the ...


5

I want multiple users to be able to share the same canvas Assuming we're talking about realtime collaborative editing, a list of users with access to the document (and their associated colors?) seems to me like something that you naturally would have built into your UI already. An "add collaborators" button (yap, a button, sorry) at the bottom of such ...


5

If you copy something (as you would do with a copying machine) then you have an identical image of something you can start working on in the same environment. Whereas if you import something, your also copying an object but instead it might not fit in to the environment you intend to use it in. Either your copy gets transformed or you have to ...



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