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130

Users are bad at asking for what they need and great at asking for what they want. Anecdotal evidence from my own recent experience: We have a department that asked for a button that would generate a PDF report about some data. A few months later they asked for the report in the form of a spreadsheet. A few months after that they asked for additional ...


121

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 ...


118

Here are two examples, one online and one offline 1. Train arrivals Subway passengers frustrated with waiting for trains routinely ask for more trains on the track. For metropolitan transit agencies globally, this is obviously a very expensive request. Analysis of passenger needs reveals that the uncertainty around the wait is as important as the ...


104

If the user can type it then it should be allowed in their password. Telling someone what they can and can't use in their password always feels wrong to the user. Passwords are currently the most universal way to authenticate. Preventing users from entering anything is, in essence, telling them who they can or can't be. 1. Any printable character that a ...


87

Don't overdo this. How can you distinguish the driver looking at the app vs. the front passenger looking at it? Location / movement will be identical. Navigation systems warn upon start up, "Don't do this when driving." That should be enough. I think some thinking is needed in this world. As it used to be back in the times of caves and leopards.


73

I would recommend against an auto-correct as domain name extensions are about to change drastically, to the point where an email ending with "sitename.anything" will be valid. Consider an inline check, which means it doesn't cause the frustration of the usual ENTRY > SUBMIT > ERROR MESSAGE > RE-ENTRY > SUBMIT name@company.co [!] Did you mean .com? Asking ...


67

If you've seen The Simpsons episode "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou," you should remember what happened when Homer's half-brother gave him free reign over designing a car "for the average schmuck." The end result was expensive and looked ridiculous and didn't truly meet the user's needs, even though it had all the features he wanted. If the company truly ...


58

This is perhaps perilously close to an off-topic icon discussion, but I think you could modify the arrow icons to make the outgoing versus incoming direction clearer. Essentially, you need to give context to the arrow: I would continue to use colour as an additional clue.


41

You say that your target audience is professional drivers. A professional should know better than to operate the phone while driving. (And if they do violate that bit of common sense, they'd have the skill to still avoid a crash.) Instruct the user on startup to not operate while driving, and then trust the human element to not be stupid. The universe will ...


41

Let's start with an old one from the Ford's founder: (Although there isn't actually any evidence Ford ever said it. Thanks to user Evil Closet Monkey for the disclaimer.) The UX Designer View Why is it important to know why they want what they think they want?: Simply because as a UX designer you should be the one designing the best solution and in ...


36

Having worked on an iOS app like this previously, I'll just relay my experiences and some conclusions. Please note that all of these experiences are developing an iOS app which at the time more heavily sandboxed apps than Android apps. Know the platform you're developing for. You can use GPS to determine if a person is moving, and that's about it. Using a ...


34

My friend at Malmö University, André Mabande, wrote his Bachelor degree on the topic with the title Designing for Dialogue. He concludes that: The findings in this study seem to validate the hypothesis of the chronology as a major factor for generating a consistent discussion within a commenting field. When comments are shown in the order posted ...


33

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? ...


33

Rather than the other answers that just express personal opinions let me direct you to this article that in turn cites some actual research which I will quote here as well: However, most studies have shown that dark characters on a light background are superior to light characters on a dark background (when the refresh rate is fairly high). For example, ...


33

If a site requires that passwords only contain certain character codes, then a user will be able to enter the password into almost any device which is capable of producing those characters. If the password contains character codes which may be entered on some devices but not on others, then a user who creates a password on a device which could enter the ...


33

There are two issues that make focusing on user requests at face value problematic. The first is known as The Einstellung Effect This is a negative effect of pattern-following on finding optimal solutions: Einstellung is the development of a mechanized state of mind. Often called a problem solving set, Einstellung refers to a person's ...


30

In the team I am on, our idea on the matter is as follows: Continue is used when you're talking about a directed flow forward only. Continue implies that anything you've done hitherto will be saved, so that you can move forward in the workflow. Ideally in a Continue-based setup, there will be alternate ways to return to previous app states, if your design ...


28

Another alternative to consider is the initials of the user. This is done by the collaborative card site Trello.com. So if your name was John Smith, you would see for example a gray square like you had for that first image, with the two centered letters 'JS'. A font like Helvetica would be perfect for that. For example: That would be the easiest ...


22

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 ...


21

The technique is called progressive reduction. Basically, it's a hand holding approach to designing interfaces for users. Over time you "reduce" the UI elements in your application as the user naturally learns and understands the system. Thus the interface adapts along with the users knowledge and familiarity with it. This may be the article you came ...


21

Try to distinguish between what users want and how they want it done. Taking your example above, users wanting one vs. two input boxes is all about the how. The what is being able to paste comma-separated coordinate pairs vs. not having to press comma. (Or, for some users, being able to simply press comma rather than having to click a second input box.) In ...


20

Place demographic questions at the end of the survey. If you place them at the beginning, you will induce a phenomenon called stereotype threat. Stereotype threat says that if you remind someone of a stereotyped attribute of themselves, it will impact their performance even if they don't believe that stereotype. For example, suppose a girl has heard a ...


19

I would like to add to DaveAlger's point. I, like many people, create algorithms in order to better remember passwords. I've spoken to many people (in an informal manner) about passwords and I have heard a lot of objections why can't I use a part of my email or my username in my password? why is there a character limit? (affects my algorithm) why can't I ...


19

I've found that arrows without words tend to cause confusion amongst users, especially those that have a color blindness. If you use multiple indicators such as the arrow, color, words, and/or +/- you are meeting user accessibility the best you can. You can do something like this: download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups ...


19

could arrow icons still be used as a quick visual reference to indicate movement of funds without actually misguiding users? I think the way you've presented them might be confusing but using them in a different way could be more familiar to what people is used to. Example: Additionally, for money related movements the two pair of most familiar ...


18

Why would you want something more contemporary which users don't understand? What are you improving about their experience by doing this? Don't use something different just to be cool or clever. All you would be doing is illustrating that good graphic design is not the same as good UX design.


17

There are a number of research methods you can use depending on your scenario. But first, state your research goals... Get the questions out of your head and onto paper and share them with others, get feedback. Start out getting all collaborative right off the bat. Plan the whole process and verify you actually have the time and funds available. ...and ...


17

Yes, there are a few considerations for domain names: Is the name memorable? Could your domain name be confused with another address, such as goggle.com vs. google.com? Is the name easy to relay? Can you tell another person the name by saying something like "penny-dash-arcade-dot-com"? Is the name accurate to your brand? If your site is "Cheap Pens Now", ...


17

If you expect comments to be part of a conversation, then you should order them from oldest to newest (bottom posting). This follows reading direction, and is far easier to follow a series of related comments. Examples include this site's comments and Reddit. If you want to emphasise novelty over conversation, you should order comments from newest to ...



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