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http://agiletribe.wordpress.com/ - my blog on programming practices and usability.

http://social-biz.org/ - my blog on social business and enterprise social technology.

Twitter: @agilepro


Jul
9
answered specific vs generic error messages
Jun
7
comment Do good UX guidelines exist against little JS windows inside the browser
These are mostly non-modal windows. These windows break the REST oriented functionality of the web because they are not addressable with an URL. The developers implementing either don't know, don't care, or purposefully work against the REST functionality of the web. Yes, it is a rant, (sorry) but not just one single implementation: it is a trend and I know at least 6 independent cases of this problem, and I suspect there are many more.
May
21
comment Do good UX guidelines exist against little JS windows inside the browser
OK, maybe there is no saving the monopolies -- but I see lots of small development and custom applications taking the same approach. Also had experience with a Indian development team that insisted on taking this approach because it was considered to be a proper GUI approach. They had learned GUI guidelines in Visual Basic, and wanted to implement the same thing on the web. Only ... it does not really work as well there. What studies have been done that support this with evidence?
May
21
comment Do good UX guidelines exist against little JS windows inside the browser
That is what I am thinking: JS windows should follow design rules appropriate for pop-up dialog boxes: the page is context for the work, and sometimes you need to interact with the user without losing the context. e.g. inserting a hyperlink into a document might involve a dialog box for getting the address. However, I am talking about examples that go far beyond pop-up dialog rules: they allow opening multiple document windows, moving, resizing, overlapping, in some cases minimize/restore capability. These look like MDA paradigm ... in a browser. Is there any study of how this is bad idea?
May
21
awarded  Commentator
May
21
comment Do good UX guidelines exist against little JS windows inside the browser
@DA01 - yes exactly, their business model is not sensitive to usability, however I believe they would aim for better usability if the data was there. jfriend00 - no, this is nothing to do with popup blockers, or with a UI that proactively opens windows. Bookmarking has nothing to do with popup, and "open in a new window" is a user option, not something forced on you.
May
21
asked Do good UX guidelines exist against little JS windows inside the browser
May
15
comment Does “Don't Break The Back Button” Apply To Web Applications?
I am feeling exactly the same way that you express here. But where is the backing literature on this? Is there an organized list of the things that will be wrong? My company keeps investing in more flash-based SaaS application which have no respect for REST -- but they look visually good and that is what the purchasing managers buy. Can you help list resources explaining why these applications are poor usability?
Jan
4
awarded  Yearling
Mar
31
answered How to communicate web design mockup specifications to front-end developers?
Mar
31
revised What to do if a user attempts to login via facebook when they've never registered?
expanded
Mar
31
answered What to do if a user attempts to login via facebook when they've never registered?
Feb
23
comment Is there ever a circumstance where the user should be notified of a user interface no-op?
Good point. I think there is a distinction between a "failure" and a "message". I agree that as a user there are situations that I want to know that a change occurred, but that does not mean that the operation failed. However from usability it would be friendly to let them know that nothing happened. Imagine that you type rm folder/* when there are no files in the folder. No files were actually deleted. Is it a failure? Its easy to imagine that the user just wanted to make sure that the folder was empty, and so it is actually success. A "verbose" parameter might be needed.
Jan
23
revised What guidelines exist for designing UIs?
an additional, essentially identical list, but updated with some more links
Jan
20
answered Line numbers in text editor
Jan
20
comment Is there a widely-understood visual metaphor for privacy?
The lock icon sometimes means that the item is "unchangeable". However, it is also used to mean privacy, and I can't think of a better option. At one point, faced with this issue, I chose to use a picture of a "safe", but to be perfectly honest it did not work as well as I hoped.
Jan
17
answered How to best show connectivity
Jan
12
comment Why is the common practice of sign in error message always mix the wrong username/password cases together?
I would be more user-friendly to tell them whether they got the right user name or not. The security guys fear that the effort to guess a password is not enough, so they hedge the bet by making hackers guess both the password and the username. If the password is strong enough, then there is no need for this extra unfriendliness. The practice in the industry is that the security folks don't trust user to make strong passwords. This justifies an obnoxious user interface.
Jan
10
comment Where to redirect after successful login?
I agree that navigation to a home page is often the wrong thing to do -- in fact I find it annoying. A couple years ago a did a survey of sites, and which did this, and which did not, called The Login Test
Jan
10
answered Easiest way to have a user select a letter grade?