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location Illinois
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visits member for 1 year, 9 months
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1d
comment Designing for the fold
A point I didn't see mentioned by those references is that some users will arrive at a page expecting it to contain material of interest, while others may arrive at a page hoping that it will contain material of interest but expecting that it probably won't; most users will probably be somewhere between. Users who are clicking through a lot of search engine results in the hopes of finding something useful aren't likely to spend much time on pages whose usefulness isn't immediately apparent; putting sought-after content above the fold may help a lot.
1d
comment How do you approach educating clients about “the fold” (and other UX 'myths')
@Baa: I wonder if any page-fold analyses take into account the Referer: tag. If a user knows that a site contains what he's looking for, he'll scroll to get it. If a user arrives at a site through a search engine and what the user sees isn't immediately of interest, he may be more inclined to leave the site and look at the search engine's other suggestions than try to look through the site.
1d
comment Why is it called the fold?
@Michael: Generally, a web site should be designed so that most users will be able to see enough without scrolling to know that the balance of the page is likely to be of interest, and so that uses who want to use common navigation links will not have to scroll to find them. It doesn't matter if many users get to see a lot of information beyond the bare minimum; what's important is that even users with small-but-not-unusually-small screens don't have to scroll excessively.
1d
comment Discard unsaved changes in tab if user switches to a different tab?
If changes in multiple tabs are kept as "draft" but not automatically applied (a good approach) I would suggest having the "save" button indicate that it will be saving more than the current tab, and having a "More info..." clickable link which would give a report of all the changes to be applied. In most cases the user will want to apply all the changes, but being able to ensure that nothing was accidentally changed can be nice.
Oct
18
comment Why is it called the fold?
A site should use what's above the fold to convince a reader that there's something good below the fold. To use the newspaper analogy, if nothing above the fold was of interest, nobody would read the paper; if everything of interest was above the fold, many people would read the paper, but nobody would buy it. Once people are drawn to a page, they'll proceed further, but if the page doesn't draw their attention quickly they're likely to leave and never return unless they've been told elsewhere what to expect.
Oct
16
comment Should nodes without pages be included in breadcrumbs?
Even if the main "Best Buy" page has links for product categories, a "Products" page would still seem helpful if it could offer a more detailed and/or less cluttered list of categories, or had a "search" box which would only search in "products" [as opposed to services, or store locations, etc.]
Oct
16
comment Page fold: myth or reality?
Bingo. I think the analogy with newspaper vending machines is a good one: if readers looking through the vending-machine window thought all the content was visible above the fold, nobody would bother buying the newspapers. The goal is to put enough content above the fold that readers will expect the content below the fold to be of interest.
Oct
3
answered Slider control when there is no maximum value
Sep
25
comment Which way do arrows point on a tabbed web page?
An upward arrow would imply that the list of tabs was something like a radio-button collection that was attached to the content below; clicking a tab would not switch to show the content associated with that tab, but would rather redefine that tab to be associated with the current content. Such behavior would be unusual in a "normal" user interface, but might conceivably make sense in the context of a "user interface editor".
Sep
23
comment Responsive design for big resolutions
Would it perhaps be useful to have the maximum text width be sized in ems of a the main font size, rather than pixels, so as to increase if someone boosts the font size (still being bound by the screen width, though)?
Sep
18
comment Why did Windows add a pointer trail feature?
@JerryCoffin: Given that the length of mouse trails is configurable, and hardware might e.g. support a finite number of overlaid pointer images, would there be any way via which hardware could implement that, or if e.g. on a 60fps display someone requested a half-second tail, would a display driver be expected to allocate a sprite for the mouse position every fourth frame?
Sep
17
comment Why did Windows add a pointer trail feature?
@MarkHenderson: I'd say that's more than anecdotal. Many 1990s laptops used passive-matrix screens that had an "S"-curve response; a major purpose of mouse trails was to ensure that each image of the mouse pointer in a different position was shown long enough to have a visible effect on the display glass. On large monitors, they have an additional effect, which is to cause a more significant visual stimulus when the pointer is moving, making it easier to find.
Sep
10
comment Undo History - Why limit it?
@zzzzBov: The approach I would like to see if the user undoes 10 actions (J through A) and then performs some new action K would be to have that action put A-J back into the "undo" buffer along with an "undo ten actions" action, followed by the new action. Hitting undo at that point would return to the state before K; hitting it again would redo J, then I, etc. If there were "fine undo" and "coarse undo" buttons, groups of actions could be consolidated when they're reposted to the buffer; hitting "fine unto" would then split them.
Sep
10
comment Why isn't the “remember me” checkbox in login forms enabled by default?
On a related note, adding an additional step to "remember me", such as asking the user to name the present computer, would only represent a tiny burden and could allow users to see what machines they're logged in on, and log off of any machines they no longer control.
Sep
3
answered Should I clear a form after the user submits data?
Aug
23
answered What is the readability rationale for unspaced em dashes in sentences
Aug
23
comment Does the Oxford Comma increase readability?
@DavidRicherby: This is perhaps best illustrated by the usage of "a" or "an" depending upon whether the following word would be spoken with an initial vowel sound. Because English wasn't "designed" as a language, but rather evolved, it's not possible to prescribe "rules" in the same way as one could for Java or C++.
Aug
23
comment Does the Oxford Comma increase readability?
@DavidRicherby: When Tom Bodett did the voice over for the "Good Idea/Bad Idea" sketch, he put a major pause both before and after "with"; I'm not sure people who hadn't heard the joke would understand it without the accompanying animation, I would suggest that the pauses are not grammatical but are semantically meaningful. While there are some things which are unambiguous when written but ambiguous when spoken, I would posit that in general the English language has evolved around the notion that writing represents speech, rather than vice versa.
Aug
23
comment Does the Oxford Comma increase readability?
@DavidRicherby: In cases where the rhythm in which something is spoken would very the meaning, punctuation to establish the rhythm may be important even if it would otherwise not be grammatically meaningful. To borrow an example from Animaniacs, consider "playing catch with your grandfather" versus "playing catch--with--your grandfather" [tossing him around]. Is there any "grammatically correct" way of punctuating the second sentence to distinguish it from the first?
Aug
23
comment Does the Oxford Comma increase readability?
...that doesn't meant that having more space after a sentence vs after an abbreviation is "wrong". Examination of pre-Linotype printing would suggest that having more space after sentence-ending periods as expected, though many people seem to think the concept was invented by people using typewriters and should be abandoned when using proportional type.