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113

Have you ever spend 30 minutes searching for a user interface element or menu item that you knew must certainly be there, only to eventually learn that it had disappeared completely because you were in some state where it couldn't be used? Imagine that you don't know that you can't vote for your own post, and you have decided to upvote your own post. Or ...


45

I had answered this question before but unfortunately the person who asked the question got banned for some reason :) The reason is two fold For design consistency: The placement of the two voting options is there for every question and answer and the design is maintained even for the questions\answers which you have written to ensure there is design ...


44

I don't have a study for this, but in my script of HCI (Einführung in die Mensch Computer Interaktion, Universität Hagen/Introduction to Human-Computer-Interaction University of Hagen) I read, that the brain can memorize the place of static interface elements better than dynamic ones. If the buttons are always there and don't change much (like the content ...


20

For first time users to the community, simply showing the vote count without the up/down voting buttons could lead to confusion as first time posters may not know what this number represents. I feel it is beneficial to leave this voting buttons in place for the user on their own questions for this reason at least.


12

The terms I see the most are "message bar", "notify bar" and "notification bar". There are tons of examples with Google using the terms above. Below are a few. 'Notify Bar' plugin Top Floating message box using jQuery jQuery: How to show a message bar at the top of browser window


10

The biggest thing is going to have to be the people on each site, and in each community. Stack Exchange would be wildly different if there were a totally different type of community in place, despite all the infrastructure the site creators offer. In terms of user interface, though: Something I find profoundly unpleasant, although probably not what ...


10

From a pure usability standpoint, I dislike Quora forcing text into a very narrow column. Also just from reading down the list of main topics, the whole site seems very differently focused, Quora seems to have much more abstract questions that are mostly pure discussion, while this site seems much more practically focused.


7

I ran into this about 5 minutes ago and didn't even know that the box was clickable. I think nesting these two clickable items increases the cognitive load for the user. In the process of considering clicking the grey box users must decide if they want to click on the revision link instead and are forced to remember that they have two options in this ...


7

Your proposed solution also introduces a jump. If it's 20 June 2013, and I see a post dated “22 June”, I'm going to think “June this year”, and then do a double take because that's still into the future. When it's June 2013, all posts from June 2012 should be marked “June '12”. As the end of the month approaches, it may be good to mark posts from July as ...


6

They seem interestingly different to me. Quora seems to have a lot of focus around building communities out of the membership. Witness the following of individuals and the way that groups of users build around topics over time. Stackexchange really only has communities built around it at the site level, and the building over time is all around individual ...


6

It is a mistake. They should have used a non-breaking space between 'user' and 'experience'. In HTML it is represented as   or  . I also looked at that and saw "user", and if it weren't for your red arrow, I wouldn't have seen the "experience" part of that, which is clearly not their intention.


5

Website should always include the year in title. This is to set a non-confusing standard for everyone. It is also important for crawlers and web scrappers since the full UTC date can be easily transformed to a timestamp with a single method call, where machines can understand it.


5

Jeff has actually posted a question on Meta Stack Overflow asking for suggestions on how the Stack Overflow home page could be redesigned. This is an acknowledgement that the current model isn't working for a site with the volume of questions and answers that SO has. Note, that this is only for Stack Overflow. The other sites don't get anywhere near the ...


5

Kudos for the effort - very nice! I have a few comments about the list at the end: Personally I feel tag clouds aren't very useful. The order between the elements isn't clear, it's not always easy to see which is bigger and you don't know what are the tags sorted by. As for your second suggestion, I might have a tiny improvement, but it doesn't feel ...


5

Within Google, we call it a Butter Bar, to disambiguate it from all the other types of notifications that might also be shown on a page.


4

I just found a good page from Chromium project about this UI element. They call it infobar and have there quite nice guidelines, rationale and examples: http://www.chromium.org/user-experience/infobars


4

When you are trying to remove bias, intentionally randomizing order is useful. Based on listening to the SE podcasts and knowing the general ethos of SE is to let site evolution occur fairly and naturally, I would surmise that this is intentional so as to not favor traffic to sites that start with letters closer to 'A'. It's not dissimilar to randomizing ...


4

Include the year once nine months have passed. You don't want to include the year when it's inferred, as it's generally a bad idea to increase noise without an increase in signal, particularly when that noise takes a datestamp above the ten-character scale of a single fovea fixation. That reduces scan-ability, which might be a detriment in certain usecases. ...


4

I would try to avoid automatic truncation for as long as possible, by gradually abbreviating the generic elements. For instance, in your example I'd first abbreviate Stack Exchange to SE, then, if the tweet is still too long, make it Sci-Fi SE. I don't think it needs to be abbreviated always, only when the tweets are too long. When the tweet is still too ...


3

In the case of the SE example, I don't see a huge problem with this. It's not like it's telling you the post was made "a year ago" vs. just a few days ago. As long as you're leaving the date/time on a post rather than insisting it's just 'a year ago", 90% of folks will be smart enough to figure out it's recent, and the remaining 10% don't care. If you ...


3

You really shouldn't have to make your users think too much. It may be obvious now, but in the middle of the year (say, April), will it really be obvious that "March" means "a month ago" and "May" means "a year ago"? Even worse, what if it is April 15 and you see "April 16th"? (this can be avoided by doing it month-wise, though) It's even more confusing, ...


3

The thing to remember with Stack Exchange is that an expert in UX is not necessarily an expert in Cooking (to use the two sites from your question). This means that there is nothing about the UX user (apart from the user entered details) that can be transferred to the new site. Your reputation and badges here have no meaning there. Therefore the system ...


3

Maybe use font-size-weighted or font-color approach?


2

I think that the daunting list of tags on this site makes me avoid as subconsciously it scares me by being so long. I think limiting it to top ten with an option to see all of them would make user scan it quickly and see what it going on within a matter of seconds. Also, I could never understand how the tags were sorted. It seems to me that they are sorted ...


2

Differences: Quora is one unified site. vs. SO/SE "siloed" topic focused sites (obviously). Quora merges "following" the questions and topics interesting to people you know with self-selecting subject matter of interest. I think the Quora system leads to more discovery of new topics and knowledge--especially around the cares of your connections. However, ...


2

Seems to me like you listed most of them. Another one becomes visible as you get enough rep to see flagged posts, then you get a notification of the number of different types of flags and posts waiting to be reviewed. They can come in a few colors, based on the types of open flags. One more occurs in the chat room, when someone replies to you. As to ...


2

It really depends on the purpose you're trying to achieve. The StackExchange system is for a Q&A-style format while a forum is meant for a discussion. While similar, these are two distinct goals and the appropriate tool should be used for each. Could forum software be improved? Yes, of course. Most of the larger forum software will allow you to install ...


2

The moment you state a date instead of an elapsed time (where 48 hours do really seem to provide a good boundary), the year should be mentioned. Why? Just imagine in the dark distant future a mirror that didn't know about your smart-date-adjuster(TM) becomes the only available source, with no information on the actual crawling date. How should a visitor now ...


1

I think we're ok with years, I mean we're all filling papers with dates, and these dates are fully formatted and we can pretty quickly understand the difference between january (a start of the year) and december (it's end), so, I think that adding some unclear rules, like skip 6 (or 9?) months before adding a year, will just increase complexity. Keep things ...


1

Trying to think through all the ways to do this and what makes sense to me...(I'm sure if everyone chimed in, there would be thousands of different suggestions) I guess what I would prefer most would be to bump the relative timestamps to 30 days and then show a full date thereafter. Seeing "2 hours ago" or "10 days ago" is great. And then when I see a ...



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