Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

128

There is little need even to explain the idea of interface to users of the program. To them, the program is the interface. Don't say "the GUI of the program does X". Just say "the program does X". Don't say "the GUI has a red self-destruct button". Say "the program has a red self-destruct button". To you, the programmer, it is very important to think ...


25

What about "the visual part of the application, i.e. its buttons, text boxes and other visual elements"? In a more detailed form, you would also include that it handles: The process of displaying the elements to the user through a screen, The interaction of the user with those elements (most commonly known as events, but it's not limited to events). ...


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 ...


14

“Knowledge Blindness” —and its extreme form “Expert Blindness” — refer to the things that people who are knowledgeable can’t see because they can’t experience what it’s like not to know: such as what words beginners don’t understand, how difficult a task is to do or learn, distinctions that non-experts can’t discriminate and appreciate, and implications ...


13

The basic idea with showing an error message is to let the user know that something went wrong and his actions may not have resulted in a desired way. So, if the error is something that doesn't affect the users perception of the program - don't show it, but keep it in an error log (for example, the function took 50% longer to execute due to some errors, ...


12

From your description, it doesn't matter whether they know what a clipboard is. All that matters is that you can explain to them that they can press a button to copy the content so that they can later paste it into something else. I would bet that 95%+ of computer users know how to copy and paste, so just go with that.


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.


10

In general, displaying a large field of many options is less preferable than showing a smaller subset of higher-level categories with clear labels, allowing users to drill down into successively more narrow categories (assuming we're talking about a "select-a-product" type task.) If there are multiple paths or options involved in a checkout flow, then ...


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 ...


8

I don't design desktop applications so I don't have much experience with options there, but I can give you some examples that might inspire. Gmail I've also always liked how Gmail does keyboard shortcuts. They're very simple, not requiring you to learn and use multiple keys at the same time and you can pop open a pane displaying all of them just by typing ...


8

Novice users comes to mind, but you can also use terms like non-tech savvy, computer illiterate, or just new computer user. But this doesn't specify the level they are at. For situations like this I would create a persona that more fully represents the demographic that you want to refer to, and then refer to that persona instead of trying to name a ...


7

The terms I commonly mention with the users are interface and database. Most users know the term User Interface (UI) and even if they don't I find it more immediate than front end. With database I mean both the DBMS and the server side code. Most users know or understand this (they realize there must be some server side code) but they don't care. For the ...


6

It’s impossible to cover “all situations” but collaboratively we might get a good list. For starters I’d like to add child-resistant packages when it comes to medication or possibly harmful cleaning liquid. They require “training” in a way that you need to read the instruction first in order to be able to open the package. However, there are records of ...


6

No, an average web user does not understand the concept of the clipboard. But I do believe an average user understands the copy/paste concept, which is all that you need. Now you say that your audience is people with limited skills, thus not an average user. I think that copying would not be a big problem, because you can foresee a special button for this ...


6

You answered yourself in your question: you already have users who have shown you that there are OS behaviors that they haven't yet discovered. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't use the OS's behaviors, standards, and conventions. It simply means that you can't rely on using those as the only way for users to interact with your application. In your ...


4

I would consider putting commonly-used features visible at all times in an easily accessible place. This way, users don't have to go through so many layers of navigation for everyday tasks. Any features that are not for everyday use can be hide away in another place and revealed only when necessary.


4

I haven't yet figured how to apply similar trick particularly to keyboard shortcuts but to me the most thrilling way of "converting" novice users from mouse to general keyboard/command-line interaction was one I've seen in some old version (13? 14?) AutoCAD. In that version, there was a large pane one could 'paint on' using mouse and menus and another, ...


4

I take the approach where I ask myself a few questions before I decide what to do. Do I need to notify before the user can continue? You will find that there are very few times where the user actually needs to stop and wait for notification before continuing. This means that most of the time you should be able to do the work in the background (background ...


4

Prompting is different from notifying. It's not clear which one you mean. If you want to notify the user of something then there are plenty of methods. Temporary banners at the top of the screen, a-la StackExchange, for one. But prompting usually means you need input from the user, and here it really depends on the kind of input. If it's just an Ok then ...


4

There's a few key reasons I'll go over. For reference I'm referring to "training" here as any sort of help text no matter how involved, not just formal training requiring tests, human teachers etc. Safety This is a big one; if safety is a factor, people need to learn how to use it. You don't get in a car and figure stuff out for your first time. It's not ...


4

It's a great question, but I think one without a great answer. Common UI elements and paradigms Nobody can answer whether you can rely on common UI elements and paradigms for every situation. I however can tell you that for apps that I have tested, including tutorial screenshots on the first use that simply point to controls and tell people how to use ...


3

I recently signed up for a USAA account. We never got our check card. After calling the bank and talking with their rep, I was told "ah, I bet you typed a dash in the address. Our web site will delete everything after the dash so we probably mailed your check card to the wrong address. This happens all the time." Not knocking USAA as I find their web ...


3

Philosophically, I believe in empowering users as much as possible, which means disclosing all error conditions. Obviously, no rule is absolute, and defining what is an error is a bit grey. But generally, I need a damn good reason to hide information about "behind the scenes" actions of a system. How you communicate errors to the user should in some way be ...


3

Assuming your users understand what the Clipboard is may be jumping the gun a bit. The feature that you're explaining assumes that the end user knows how to paste the URL that they're copying, let alone know the technical term that is used to temporarily store the URL. Why don't you emulate what coupon site Retail Me Not (www.retailmenot.com) does and ...


2

The best I've used is cryp.sr. ALL the editing in this is done using the keyboard. So in the top bar there is just one '?' symbol which lists all the shortcuts. This is great for shortcut obsessives like me who want to learn all the possible shortcuts - not just the obvious ones :)


2

I believe that you should not display menus or pop-ups. A lot of people are like me: when they see a Tip Window or something like that they immediately disable pop-up windows and close the window. I would not advise it. Just try aiming at a simple-to-understand-at-first user interface and let them go find to tutorials later on if you UI is that complex.


2

The more details you have on the screen, the more intimidating it is, so I would definitely go for the gradual reveal, but with the following considerations: thyrgle pointed a problem with pop-ups, so I would say you can either change the current screen or use modal dialogs when user action is required. make sure that the most common scenario can be ...


2

Do you want to measure internet experience or internet skills? In the latter case, take a look at the research done by Alexander van Deursen. Self-reported skills can be quite inaccurate. Inexperienced users tend to overestimate their skills (because they don't know what they are missing), and experienced users tend to underestimate their skill level. ...


2

Yes, going on the assumption that you are actually working with physical warehouse equipment that needs servicing (which is completely different to an end user stuck with a printer at home) then I would have the following approach: 1) Reduce the amount of information required to a bare minimum. The first screen should simply be "Enter the serial number" ...


2

Difficulty-of-use has deficiencies in acting as a barrier. For one reason it's not explicit, another reason is the knowledge to overcome the barrier can be informally provided (e.g. on the internet, just enough knowledge to be dangerous). Explicit things like keys (both common keys like car keys as wells as special controlled tools that enable access), ...



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