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106

Rumors of its death are greatly exaggerated ✞... Classic hierarchical folder views aren't dying. But they are being complemented by other ways of viewing and interacting with files. The key trend here is the decoupling of views from the underlying file system. The old world...One truth ⇨ One view Historically, file UX was heavily tied to the ...


46

It's not dying completely, but it is becoming a power user niche feature. Everyone has seen or heard stories about the user who stores everything on their desktop or in a single My Documents folder. Humans are terrible at justifying a large upfront cost like creating and managing dozens of folders just for a possible, small benefit in the future like being ...


37

Let them change their name. A woman getting married takes the last name of her husband (sometimes), and not allowing her to change her name at a website could translate into a poor experience for her. I'm a big fan of option #1. I had to go look up my ID# here at the UX website to find I'm #5737. Out of sight, out of mind, in a good way. I don't know ...


15

A solution to this some services have used is to have a separate username and display name. Your user name is your portal to the site; what you login as, what your URL is based on (usually), and sometimes how people find you. Twitter is probably the most relevant solution, as they have good SEO but they do have a display name you can change. You can't ...


15

When you have categories, there are often items that don't fit into any category well, and so you are left with a choice between having a category with a single item in it, or a catchall category like 'other'. If the item isn't needed in the first place, then regardless of whether it fits into a category or not, you should not include it. That said, I will ...


14

Categorization of content is still very important, even after the rise of smartphones. Whether that's by date, by location, or by tags. The more and more popular use of smartphones since 2007 has forced designers to come up with simpler user experiences. Manually putting stuff in folders can usually be considered a bad ux experience, which is why in a lot ...


13

I just thought of an option 3, which comes in a few parts. I'm probably being excessively verbose, but I want to make sure I've covered every case :) Only allow name changes every so often (three months should be fine to accommodate real name changes like the Jane Smith/Jane Doe examples above). Maintain a columns in the database of the past, say... four ...


12

Which one is the main point for each website depends on what strategy best suits their particular interest, product(s), and service(s). There is no universal purpose. Some of the more common purposes for a home page are: A portal entry point to direct you to other content (e.g. youtube) An introduction to your company and what you do (e.g. most ...


12

I think the question you should be asking is what should be my content strategy and how should I define that to drive my site navigation.. That said, there are multiple steps in defining your content strategy : Plan your content: This is the initial phase of any site and should involve the questions such as the objective of the site, the user group which ...


11

I'm not so sure there's a huge difference from a UX stand-point. If anything, it makes it more difficult. Let's say a user is on your site and is at www.sub.example.com/articles/article-title.php, and he wants to go to your homepage. Users often clear the address bar, so he would click in the address bar, clear the end of the URL, and be left at ...


11

Most people tend to think that certain aspects of technology die away, but I always get the feeling that it is far more common for it to "sediment". Whenever I see a new trend, it usually never ends like "this is the new best way". Normally it is more like "we solved this problem with one global solution, but now it seems there are different solutions for ...


10

I've solved this task using card sorting in a low tech, hands on session with my client and/or users. Write down all menu items onto index cards and let the participants sort the cards in a way they think it is correct. You will find a lot more information on the internet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Card_sorting


10

Probably. But it's a slow painful death. It essentially boils down to the need to put something somewhere where we can find it again, or where we can direct someone else to finding it. We are naturally predisposed to putting things in containers or compartmentalizing in such a way that even if it's a long time before we come back then we can still have a ...


9

Organizations are so hung up on deliverables that it turns a proper UX process into a deliverable process instead. Which is bad UX. The ideal is to educate the organization that UX isn't a step in the process with a set of defined deliverables, but rather it is part of the process itself, and the deliverables will change from project to project and even ...


8

(tl;dr: Click through the presentation mentioned below to see how the BBC designed their URLs and to learn a bunch of other stuff you probably hadn't thought about much) The best approach to this I've seen is described by the BBC's UX director Mike Atherton in Beyond the Polar Bear (SlideShare). One of his main arguments is the use of domain-driven design, ...


7

I have a Point 3 that is similar to the Point 1, but does not expose the ID of the user (which might give away some information). Instead, I would simply assume that a given username is, at any point in time, held by a single person. Therefore, the url can simply embed the time (or rather, date): http://somewebsite.com/2011-10-05/ausername Then it is ...


7

Understanding the content To be able to understand the content currently available on the site you can't only rely on the navigation menu, tagging systems or search which is where you start. Get your view of where content lives before you ask the users and editors of content today. You need to interview and observe content editors and content consumers ...


7

The mental model attempts to define a map of the user cognitive processes. Depending on how it's done it can help define what is the user looking for, what kind of decisions is she taking etc. In my experience mental models serve more as a framework to refer to as one explores different possibilities. The mental model itself does not deliver specific design ...


7

Search helps if you know what you are looking for (obvious). If you don't know what you are looking for, a folder structure can help you find it. For example, if you are looking for a recipe for chicken Florentine, search will help you find it, or if you have chicken and want a recipe that uses it, search may help there too. But if you just want to cook ...


6

Firstly, that is one of the nastiest menus that I have ever seen. I know it's not your work, but this is a fantastic example of what happens when UX is not considered. That said, I can think of no interface that will make a menu with those options usable. You have to deal with the underlying issue, that the category groupings need to change to be able to ...


6

You're trying to create a nested master-detail-detail relationship, which is often difficult to accomplish in general. But your main problem here is visual, the relationships aren't visualized well because all three levels share the same BG color, which makes it seem like they're all "top-level". If you give the "details" panes the same BG color as the ...


5

As Ben said, UX patterns aren't sacred and they exist for specific scenarios. Avoiding multi-columns is meant to prevent confusion in the path to completion (people zigzagging), in situations like this one: download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups In your case you already have strong vertical edges which guide the user, ...


5

You could make the tab-container as wide as the entire page, and put the column inside the tab (in the shape it is now). Then you can make the content of that column to only contain the items relevant to the tab it is in: Period, Filter, New Employee, Other Offices are shown in the Office Employees tab. Only show Other Offices in the Office Details tab. ...


5

Thematically, a subdirectory is clearly part of the main site. A subdomain is an area that may be related to the main site, but doesn't really fit as part of the main site. There's no hard rules for what goes where, it is dependant on how content/functionality is being organized and who is doing it. The benefit of the subdomain approach is that it can be ...


5

All the examples you have quoted are examples of parallax sites which use shifting content to tell and story and keep the user engaged.I am going to break this response into three parts. The reasoning I would recommend looking at this article for additional inputs on how parallax sites keep users engaged. Storytelling Parallax scrolling offers ...


5

As tools (software and hardware) increase in speed, the value of search begins to eclipse the value of a folder structure as a way to find a file. On my PC, my MacBook, and my phone, it's simply faster to search for items by terminology rather than seek it out visually. Most file systems still need a folder structure, so it's not dying, it's just that ...


5

Folder structure is not dying However, its importance and prevalence in the average user's interface is. The truth is that a user will find the path of least resistance to accomplish their desired task. With this in mind, maintaining folder structure would have to become their desired task. For the average Joe, nope! The average person has become ...


4

In short: It depends. Option One if it's a less formal/professional site, Option Two if more formal/professional oriented. I like option one. The various user groups I've worked with pay little or no attention to the URL, so unless you know url construction is an issue to your specific user group, I'd go with this. BUT, I have never worked on a site that ...


4

Allow users to change their name, but only once every few months. When they do, the old username should be blocked for a few months as well, so nobody else could use it. When somebody visits a blocked page, a screen should inform the visitor that the user has changed her name, and people should update their bookmarks if they still wish to be able to visit ...


4

In my experience, once you know which tasks your user must complete, you can then define your task flows. With task flows you can figure out which pages you need on your site. You also figure out what goes on each page & how everything is grouped together on the page. Then you can start to define how the various pages are linked together, which ...



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