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110

Make sure that you focus on goals. Don't ask what your users want or need in terms of functionality or form. Find out what they need (or want) to achieve .. that way the parameters you use to define and solve the problem will be much clearer and focused. Questions to ask your users might run along the lines of; what they need to achieve. how they ...


58

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 ...


53

The historical reason is that that's what the spacebar does in more, the lowest common demoninator (and probably oldest) of text pagers. In more, it makes sense to map the largest key on the keyboard to the most common action: show the next page. In the glory days of more, you couldn't count on mouse scrollwheels, page down buttons, or sometimes even arrow ...


44

Short answer You can't design for them. It can be that your design is bad, or that people really cannot concentrate on the task due to their internal reasons, explained below in the long version. If you have successfully determined that it is the second case, nothing in your design can change how people tick internally. An easier to use application will ...


37

Encapsulated flags are the only solution I've found that reach all edge cases. Pointing the flag at the label rather than the input allows for consistency with radio buttons and check mark groups or weird inputs like sliders or sorters. Highlighting the field with red is also helpful, but not always possible. Example usages below. download bmml ...


32

I had a customer a few years back who had gone through several stages of improvements to the way their system worked. Initially they managed everything in Excel and it kind of worked, but it started getting a bit bloated and rather out of hand - well you can imagine the problems! Then they got a team of developers in-house to improve the situation. How? ...


29

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 ...


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

The spacebar is the largest key of your keyboard, and is consequently the easiest one to interact with. For that reason, apps tend to use the spacebar for: a simple action: where no input, precision or direction is involved. a repeated action: the spacebar is the easiest to press several times in a row. a "forgivable" action: if you accidentally press it, ...


26

I have come across this exact problem on a project. Everybody on the team is already stretched to the limit to get a product shipped - and it's important to get it out before a particular international event (for example). So a UX review which happens too late in the development life cycle throws up some serious issues which no-one had foreseen. What to do - ...


26

Is your question "Should we go ahead and ship the product with a 17% failure rate?" If so, and if you're sure there are no weird extenuating circumstances that compromised the integrity of the test itself, here are the factors I would weigh: What does the task failure mean for the user? Is the nature of the task such that a slight inconvenience -- and ...


25

The error message should appear before the form field itself (at a minimum in the markup itself, but ideally visually shown this way on the screen too) so that when someone is reading the form they read that the field has errored before they then read the field in question - that way the user is prepared mentally that "the contents of this field I am about ...


24

It seems you're already marking optional form fields instad of required ones. There seem to be no 'required' indicators, but no 'optional'-indicators, too, so I wanted to mention that. What I like to do on forms is to "micro-gamify" them: For every field in the form provide a "validation-indicator". For simplicity, let's say it's just a small circle. This ...


19

I've never thought about exactly WHY we hate stock photos, but I think it's related to the concept of the uncanny valley. Most cheesy business-centric stock photos look almost real, but there's always just something that makes them clearly unnatural. Is it the perfect mix of skin colors amongst the group? Is it the fact that they seem WAY too happy to be ...


19

I would say it has to do with the following reasons : Contrast : Studies have shown that black or dark backgrounds provide the easiest contrast and can allow users to read discrete information quickly without having to make an effort to discern details when in a dark environment (which is often the environment in cars) Darkness adaptive : Another reason ...


19

I don't have any evidence that this is the reason the spacebar is used for page down, but back in the day when IBM was setting PC design standards (that still heavily influence the design today), the original IBM AT 84-key keyboard from 1981 (IIRC) did not have page up/down or dedicated arrow keys (they shared the number pad): The standard 101-key ...


16

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 ...


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

You are conflating 'subjective' and 'unreliable'. Usability tests aim to get reliable information about people's reactions. Self-reported opinions are also subjective, and are much less reliable indicators of how other people will react to the interface. If I test 100 people and their subjective opinion is that they hate an interface, I'm pretty sure that ...


15

+1 on "UX starting at day 0". [Minor caveat that I'm a dev and not a UX person so I might have a bit of a naive understanding of what is done/needs to be done from a UX perspective]. I have worked on Agile teams where UX folks were an integral part of the team and a few things that seemed to work well: Early UX involvement Often our interaction ...


15

I've come across this before and the following image illustrates just part of the problem: I've found that one way to find out what a user actually needs is to really understand the user's requirements, to the point where you can put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself "What would I need in this position?"* The other thing I've found that helps is ...


14

It depends on the application itself. Is it in a formal context the language and instructions should be formal. Most users would not trust a Bank or Government who said: "Dude, you didn't get your social security number right. Please enter a correct one". It's an extreme case, I know. On the other hand, some user would maybe like the favourite online T-shirt ...


13

For the 'input lag' part of your question, I still use the rules of thumb found in Nielsen's Usability Engineering: The basic advice regarding response times has been about the same time for many years [Miller 1968; Card et al. 1991]: 0.1 second is about the time limit for having the user feel that the system is reacting instantaneously 1.0 ...


13

Dan Zarella is frequently quoted by HubSpot and other Internet Marketers because of his careful study of Marketing Statistics. The second link has the most direct answers to what you are looking for: 3 Steps to Picking the Perfect Number of Landing Page Form Fields Which Types of of Form Fields Lower Landing Page Conversions (awesome) Landing Page Best ...


12

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.


12

US Department of Defense Design Criteria Standard - Human Engineering MIL-STD 1472F Section 5.14.9 and Table XXII requires that "Sketching" have a response time of 0.2 seconds "from input of point to display of line." That's a minimum standard of performance, so it should correspond to your worse-case conditions. Like a lot of standards, I believe much of ...


12

I refer to it as social desirability response bias or acquiescence bias Id start at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_desirability_bias and explore from there to find some relevant research you could cite You know I mentioned in my earlier comment - that this is like Pandora's box, and here's a page on wikipedia that supports that statement, just take a ...


12

Interesting question and a couple points: sometimes greyed out is used from a security/permissions point-of-view to mean - "can't touch this" in your primary example there is still a "depression" and demarcation of active I personally do not have a strong preference, but my inclination is to show a different size/marking to show active rather than ...



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