Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

292

The reason I believe it is important to have an apologetic tone is to ensure you are communicating to the user that, though a mistake has been made and he is interacting with a machine or application in this case, you still respect his action and are humanizing the mistake. To quote this article from UXMatters: “You’re going to display your error ...


74

While Mervin's answer is excellent, I would go beyond saying it is "acceptable" or "preferred". I would say you "must" use an apologetic tone for one very good reason: if the user is making a mistake, it is because the user does not understand the rules or logic of the system. That is not the fault of the user! It is responsibility of the system to ...


62

In addition to the related posts that JonW, called attention to, I think the biggest question to answer is using 'My' vs. 'Your'. We've had a previous question on the subject ("'Your' vs 'My' in user interfaces"), which is a great resource, but my favorite resource on the matter is the Yahoo Design Pattern Library. Yahoo advises to use 'Your' as the ...


41

Taking a step back: Why was this feature made available (visible) to the user in the first place? If it is a feature not available to a specific user (or user class), hide it. If it is a premium feature that you'd like to upsell - do so. History export is a great way to backup your data, but is available on premium accounts only. Get in touch with ...


40

If it's clear, say it in the least number of words possible. If there is no confusion, then there is no problem. "Import image" - clear. "Create app" - clear. "Add description" - clear. For further reading, I suggest the Android Writing Style.


31

A good error message should: Let you know what the problem is. Make you feel like there is something that you can do about it. Speak like a human, and be a consistent extension of the personality of the rest of the application. For generic error messages, you can't do much about the first point, but you can do something about the other two. Do something ...


25

I was having a discussion with my housemate who is a data analyst by trade, and the conclusion that we came to is that there are two sensible options here, depending on the amount of work you personally want to do (we're assuming here that the collection of gender data is actually useful to you, rather than simply of interest in which case it may be better ...


23

Yes, error messages should apologize whenever it's remotely plausible to do so. People will ascribe human emotions to computers, so the computers should be as polite as possible, regardless of whether they're actually at fault. A chapter "Bringing Affect to Human Computer Interaction" has a section on apologetic feedback: Nielsen (1998) argued that ...


22

I don't find apologies very humanizing from a computer, any more than an automated hold system for a phone network makes me feel like my call is important by saying, "Your call is very important to us! Please stay on the line for the next available representative." I don't think the apologies are the main issue here. Far more important is that they are ...


22

As noted on the Android Design Principles Writing Style page: Friendly Use contractions. Talk directly to the reader. Use “you” to refer to the reader. Keep your tone casual and conversational, but avoid slang. By saying 'Oops' - in English, a commonly accepted way of acknowledging that an unexpected event has happened, in a non-frightening way - we are ...


20

Conventions and the conscious breaking of The vast majority of people don't have their mouse buttons swapped. Even people who use the mouse with their left hand, often keep the buttons as they would normally be (myself is an example for this). Thus, people who swap these buttons can be considered in UX as complementary personas (people with special ...


17

My favourite method is the one employed by Stack Exchange, Google, Flickr, and many other large sites with a strong focus on UX: use their username / real name combination as a clickable link. This has the dual benefit of hinting to the user if they are logged in as someone else, ans is more personal than the [pronoun] Account approach. Combinations of ...


17

I believe that's a preference thing. The main thing is to be consistent with what you decide. It could vary on what section of the app you are talking about too. For example, your buttons and titles might be Title Case capitalized, while your links might be lowercase. Again, just be consistent within the sections that you are standardizing.


14

Not first option - It emphasizes free too much and users tend to think 'Hey - I've got something for free' and be happy with that to the point of making a point of not wanting to pay anything - however good the paid one is. Free can sound like it's a trial or severely limited - like 3 free levels in a game where the paid version has 100. Anyway - it might ...


14

The first message should be given as a warning, not an error. In certain cases you may want to accept something that is probably wrong, but just very possibly not so. For example custom protocol prefixes for urls (like chrome://), internal phone numbers (that don't have 10 digits), e-mail addresses that have explored the full depths of the specs (including ...


14

'Sign up' is shorter and, I agree with Dan, sounds easier than 'Create an account'. And indeed A/B testing can help to find the best solution in the context of your site. One important thing to mention: I observed people in usability test being confused by the wording 'Sign up' and 'Sign in' next to each other. They're just too close and too easy to mix up. ...


14

My recommendation is: leave the gender out of the form if you can. Only collect the user data you really need, and when you need it (Credit card data on payment, address on checkout and the like.). But if you have to add something, you can do it like when creating a new Live-ID at Microsoft. They added "Not Specified" which work well if you don't want to ...


13

Be natural, this can be annoying if you're apologizing too often, write your message in plain language—like a human talking to another human. If error is caused by you (your app, your server e.t.c.) add apology, otherwise leave just statement of fact and how to resolve the issue. For example: "Sorry, we couldn't send your message because of [some] ...


11

Is there any reason you can only use one word? Since your use case is somewhat unique, perhaps you may want to be more specific with your call to action. Make Available Publish To Group Publish For Review Issue To Group Other one-worders that may work: Circulate Issue Distribute


11

If you're adding more items into a collection of items, then the term to go with is Add. If the action is to create something totally new that isn't part of a clear collection, then I'd go with New. Since you have tables where you can add data (a row collection where you add rows), I would use Add for inserting new rows of data. It's quite common in ...


10

In psychology there is a lot of research into whether primacy (first presented) or recency (most recently presented) most affects the choices that people will make. To cut through a lot of theory, in most cases primacy dominates - especially when the choices are presented very close to each other in time. So if you want someone to go for a particular ...


10

You should limit the label to some action word if possible. This also makes it easier if you want to replace the label with an icon. Add Create Import And if the context is ambiguous, add a descriptor. Image Contact Description There are cases where you might want to skip the action and directly use the descriptors. Eg: for login, many sites just ...


9

No. Oranges: 50 is not correct in French. In french, you have to write Oranges : 50, with a non-breaking space before the colon “:”. In traditional print, including in English, we put this non-breaking space. It is nicer.


9

There is no evidence that I have seen that deems the term 'Blacklist' to be offensive; in fact it is valid computer terminology. Being blacklisted is a negative term, but that is the point of the word: Black and White are contrasting. If you need other terms then it's easy to go with 'Blocked List' but then you're left with the opposing side being an ...


9

Checkboxes should always be shown in the affirmative, so you shouldn't use "Don't show this on startup". You could however use "Hide this on startup" as an option that doesn't have the checkbox filled, which is what I would suggest. The action that someone will be thinking is more along the lines of "I want to hide this screen", so the action should ...


9

A lot depends on your audience and your product, but in general the term "Millions of colours" isn't particularly helpful. Do you mean 2 million or 786 million? If you're selling a new DSLR camera, the common jargon is 12-bit, 14-bit, etc. and not the number of colours - so that is what you should stick to. If you're talking about software (especially ...


8

Which is better? That depends on how strict the validation rules are. If there are edge case phone numbers that don't fit a general pattern, and the user can in fact successfully submit the form with that "is a phone number but doesn't look like one", then you you need to take that into consideration as to what messaging to provide. Assuming you don't ...


8

Depending on the context in which the button appears, I would use the word Done or Close or Cancel or Exit but never Dismiss. Close would be used if the user first Opened something which does not involve change. Eg A message, a photo, T&C, Product Information etc. Close could also be used as a form of Accept to mean close and accept any changes, ...


8

I would suggestion High DPI; It's an accurate technical description and not all high-res displays are actually at a pixel ratio of 2 (though if you need to specify multiple images for multiple ratios, individually showing the ratios would be best), and "@2x" makes sense if you think about it, but it requires a higher familiarity with how high DPI stuff works ...


8

I would describe the options in terms of "quality", with technical footnotes. This teaches the user at a high level what a phrase like 16 bit vs 32 bit means. It also provides the information for more technically minded users to get exactly what they want. Color Example: Low Quality (8 bit) Medium Quality (16 bit) High Quality (32 bit) Audio Example: ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible