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16

The whole of the following linked article is interesting, but the following section is pertinent and I think worth including in the context of this question, even though not providing actual patterns. From Scott Berkun's The myth of discoverability (2003) How do you actually make something discoverable? As a designer, you have a handful of ...


14

Having done loads of user research in the field of personal insurance, I can tell you that many people believe insurance companies will do anything they can to avoid paying a claim. Given this common pre-conception, I think using words like "to fully secure my claims" is dangerous. I can see some form fillers wondering what this means: "Will my claims not ...


12

One idea is to align the functionality you want discovered with existing user behaviour. (I only have one example in mind, so can't in good honesty call this a "pattern" just yet.) The example of this method is noticing that users tend to reflexively attempt to scroll for more in twitter or rss iphone/ipad apps, especially if the twitter/rss stream tends to ...


11

Alan Cooper has written some great stuff about what skill level to direct your main design effort to. He calls it the perpetual intermediate, meaning that users' skill levels are often distributed like a Gauss curve: Beginners will often have such basic questions as "What does the program do?", "How do I print?", "What is the program's scope?", but will ...


9

If you had 20 links, it would take you longer to scan for the attachment button than it would with two links and an expansion button. They are just optimising the most common use case. You should always optimise for very common actions over rare actions. How much more common or rare they need to be is a judgement call which should be based on data and ...


8

I agree with this if the case is the user hasn't met certain requirements to enable the option. Like selecting text. But I work with a lot of applications where options are disabled by role. In that case, this particular user will never be able to use those options, therefore, they shouldn't be visible to this user.


7

You need to apply some information architecture here to structure these fields into a comprehensive way. This is a good place to use the DRY(don't repeat yourself) principle, for the emergency contact info section, if the entire section comprised of optional fields, then that section is in fact an optional section. Then you can label at once, why the user ...


7

Richard, I think your dilemma is similar to the one I've had with the previous company I've co-founded (BloggersBase). We had two main audiences - Bloggers and Readers, each one with different reasons to register. But since we couldn't be sure which audience the user belonged to, we picked the more likely crowd and showed there were other options using ...


7

We are currently grappling with the same issue for a desktop app, though not tab-based. You can try an approach like this: where a small icon appears if something requires the user's attention. Maybe even use two colors: yellow for warnings, and red for things that must be fixed before the user can go further.


6

I wouldn't limit/hide features for new users; changing the interface while using a software has a great potential of confusing the user. Instead I'd try to make it easy to get familiar with your product. I see two possibilities: Guided tour. Can work if users are committed to using your product. Explain features on the go. E.g. whenever a function is used ...


6

50 or so elements in the format the user is expecting based on standard Based on these criteria I'd suggest a stable screen. Unless you have a lot of freedom in changing the format into some thing more web-friendly, I wouldn't apply web-specific techniques (expand/collapse) to the form. I'd say this based on converting a lot of paper-based forms to ...


6

New users will be overwhelmed with too many options or functions, while experienced users are likely to want many more than they already have. The solution to this is progressive revelation or treasure hunt if you prefer. When a new user starts with the application, give them just the basics that they need to get things done - hide everything else. That ...


6

I do not see how the + sign has anything to do with Google+. :) It is just a matter of balancing the importantance/"commoness" of actions. By each thing you make directly visible, everything else becomes a little less visible. Google simply pushes the simplicity factor to the edge in their visuals, like always. For example, it might be faster for some to ...


5

I don’t think the case has been made to ever use reveal-on-hover controls. The concern is apparently that the clutter of the controls will inhibit seeing the data. That is a definite possibility, but it seems to me that properly balanced graphic design, with high contrast data and relatively muted controls, is a better way to handle this. Reveal-on-hover ...


5

Progressive disclosure can be used to tailor the product to the user’s level of expertise. The paradoxical trick to making it work is to link the disclosure to the tasks the user wants to accomplish, not the expertise of the user. Users don’t wake up one day suddenly experts, nor do they suddenly need all your advanced features, nor do the vast majority of ...


5

I would think really hard as to why these options might be 'advanced,' and unless they would confuse normal users, I'd avoid tucking them away. It might be simpler both from a design & dev perspective to expose those elements alongside the 'simple' options. Make the base options stand out from a design direction. There's going to be a lot of ...


4

I find this an odd question; this isn't really information hiding and there isn't really a pattern associated with it. You're describing a situation where a user can make a choice in the UI and asking whether the UI should then reflect that decision or just ignore it and show him further options that aren't relevant to his earlier decision, right? Well, ...


4

The best thing you can do in this complex situation is create a prototype of as much of the UI as you can and test it on your user base to see what happens. You can use HTML in combination with something like jQuery UI to quickly get a lot of interactive controls available and ready for testing quickly. Your tab system sounds complicated so I have to ...


4

Did anyone see the "Send Feedback" functionality in the bottom right corner? That is by far my favorite interaction on the site and I wish I could somehow implement it on my website. The other thing that I really like about G+ is the integration with the rest of the products and the general update of every interface that I use. The notification bar at the ...


4

What you are really asking is what is the benefit and risk of progressive disclosure in a web form design. Benefits The benefit of using progressive disclosure is that you lower the user's cognitive load by only showing the fields they need to complete their task. As they enter more data, more fields may be required, but they only have to examine and ...


3

If you can't offer a real benefit (and communicate it), then I would recommend creating a benefit of some sort to encourage them to enter the optional fields. Your first image states that "I want to fully secure my claims and fill up the optional fields", which is a good start, but I don' understand what exactly you mean by "fully secure". If it's an ...


3

It's a reasonably clean and intuitive interface. The major problem I'm having with it is its management of circles. It's fine if you only have a few contacts or a few circles — you can drag and drop contacts onto your circles and hover over them to see who's in them. But once you have more than one row of circles and more than a couple of rows of contacts, ...


3

When your hover controls are consistent and ubiquitous, you don't need to have visible affordance. For all the examples you mention every single item on the screen almost has the same hover controls. Similarly, if every item in your form has the same hover controls then the user will discover them quickly and automatically just by using the form. It should ...


3

If I understand your question, you want to be able to include all the terms in the query most of the time, but let users exclude them from the query temporarily without deleting them altogether. If I have that wrong, we'll burn that bridge when we cross it. I'm also going to assume there are enough other constraints that a list box in a form is the right ...


3

Obviously you want to keep things clutter free, but there is some logic behind having both explanations. For one, I may want to sell one thing and buy another. Two, the best way to convince me that I can sell is to show me how you convince others to buy.


3

I would be inclined to do the opposite of what you are doing: show the optional fields, and offer a link to "skip emergency contact for now" When they click it, hide the fields, but explain the consequences of doing so. Offer to let them "do it now" and restore the fields. If you are going to let them skip it for now, indicate that they can fill it in ...


3

Consider alternatives to either showing or not showing them. A drawback to not showing them is that the user doesn't have an accurate idea of how long a form is based on a quick scroll. Showing them can make a form unwieldy and overwhelm the essence of what you're seeking. Perhaps a middle-ground approach might work, like the rough image attached where ...


3

In general it is accepted in HCI research [1] that the presence of progress indicators enhances the UX of an interface by providing a degree of interactivity, responsiveness, and informativeness to its user. However, it has also been demonstrated that the style or implementation of a progress indicator can have an important impact on the user's enjoyment ...


2

I don't like it when a form changes too much. Since your users know the form I think they'd appreciate you providing them with the same look they are used to - it will take them less time to get used to your system and feel comfortable with it. If applicable, you can break the form into a few sections (using "Next") and in each section ask for the needed ...


2

Grayed out and disabled is best if the form is dynamic. The graying indicates to the user the field is disabled and not being able to tab into it doesn't confuse them over why they can't type anything. It's best to not dynamically change the form too much on the user. Hiding/showing areas is fine as the user selects something (for example if they check a ...



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