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Apr
29
comment Why is text justified in newspapers, but not on the web?
@JoeBlow: Many aspects of newspaper layout are motivated by economy. I do agree that the effectiveness of intra-column white space is enhanced by giving that space mostly-clean left and right edges, but paragraph breaks are important too. It's too bad Linotypes' mechanisms for justification are so crude, though, since such crudity caused the loss of the useful typographical distinction between the full stop and other kinds of periods.
Apr
29
answered Is there a standard “to left justify text and right justify numeric values.”
Apr
29
comment Why is text justified in newspapers, but not on the web?
If it would be necessary to use tighter-than-normal spaces to make the last line of a paragraph fit, then unless the paragraph ends with a word like supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, the paragraph will probably look better if that word is moved to the next line.
Apr
29
comment Why is text justified in newspapers, but not on the web?
I think the use of side-by-side columns is a motivating factor, but another is that if everything but the last line of a paragraph is justified, and if the last line of a paragraph is not allowed to end precisely at the right margin, then paragraphs can be marked without needing space between them. Vertical space between paragraphs wastes paper, and ndenting by 10% of the column width would waste about 1/10 line per paragraph. Justified text would only use extra space to mark a para. break in the rare case where using minimal spaces on the last line of a paragraph would barely make it fit.
Apr
11
comment Why is backslash called BACK slash when arguably it points forward?
@slebetman: If a fraction is intended to be read as part of a line of text, writing it as ²/₃ will allow the reader's eye to move in a consistent left-to-right direction. Stacking it perfectly vertically would require the reader's eye to backtrack after reading the numerator.
Mar
16
answered What are the alternatives to Apple's spring back scrolling to show end of list?
Feb
4
answered Button for “Play, but from beginning” for a scrubber UX
Jan
17
awarded  Yearling
Nov
9
comment Why touch screens?
Has there been much effort to evaluate the relative usefulness of multi-touch touchpads versus touch-screens? Touchscreens have the advantage that selection of a sufficiently-large object is a one-step process, but operating a pointer with a touchpad offers additional interaction possibilities and avoids having the operator's hand block the view of the things being interacted with.
Oct
29
comment Marquee or Ellipsis for song name in music player?
I'd suggest "Stack Excha...read mix)". Both the leading and trailing portions of the name are likely to contain useful information; it may be hard to guess exactly how to balance content from those portions, but showing a little of both seems better than only doing one or the other.
Oct
20
comment Is there a UX pattern for “drop-down preferred but free text allowed”?
How about having the pop-up just display a few choices, with no scroll bar, but with "More..." and "Add new..." as additional choices. Clicking "More..." would expand the control and add scroll bars if they're still needed, but "Add new..." would be available without scrolling in any event.
Oct
17
comment Should date pickers for meetings offer the ability to schedule a meeting for 0 minutes?
...expected to take less than 30 seconds if everyone shows up promptly. Saying 0 minutes would seem more natural than trying to guess the exact number of seconds.
Oct
17
comment Should date pickers for meetings offer the ability to schedule a meeting for 0 minutes?
I would suggest a useful and concrete meaning for "soft duration" vs "hard duration": a hard duration would block out a person's schedule for the entire time, while a soft duration would require that no other event completely cover it. If the sometime is going to be available from 1:01 to 1:29, one may need to ensure that one doesn't schedule a single event from 12:30 to 2:00, but could schedule an event from 12:30 to 1:15 and another from 1:15 to 2:00. On the other hand, I think 0 minutes has a useful non-soft meaning. One might have a "meeting" for a group picture which is...
Sep
24
comment Is a star rating more user-friendly and valuable than a simple up/down vote model?
@MattCoubrough: I'd say a good rating system should have separate ways of saying "I don't know whether or not this item is the greatest thing ever, but it's certainly decent", "this item is decent, but definitely not the greatest thing ever", and "this item is the greatest thing ever" [and likewise for negative opinions]. If an item acquires a large base of users who know it's decent but can't say anything beyond that, a knowledgeable person who sees that may be more prone to offer more detailed feedback than if the support were not recognizably both broad and weak.
Sep
18
comment Should read-only text appear as plain text or in a read-only textbox?
Even if label text is copyable via mouse, labels can't generally get focus, so many techniques that could be used to select all the text in a box won't work on a label.
Sep
18
answered Should read-only text appear as plain text or in a read-only textbox?
Sep
11
comment Cursor position and movement in Bidi Input.
@jonshariat: I've often thought that a logical approach would be to require that at any given time the system be switched to RTL or LTR mode, and any text written in the other mode would essentially behave as uneditable picture elements until the mode was switched. Would that be overly cumbersome if there were a single keystroke to switch each way? It would certainly seem to simplify many design issues.
Aug
14
answered Is there any reason to send “no-reply” emails?
Aug
5
comment Why do showers have “hot” and “cold” knobs rather than “temperature” and “quantity” knobs?
@StijndeWitt: For places where it's necessary to flush cold water from the hot line before hot water becomes available, I would think a device that severely curtailed output flow above a certain temperature would be far less wasteful than one which enforces a minimum hot/cold mix; indeed, such a device could yield optimal water usage if the user turned on full hot, waited for the shower to cut output to a trickle, then dialed in a suitable temperature and waited for the output to come back on and got in.
Aug
5
comment Why does the fridge thermostat have an inverted scale?
@peppe: Even if the designers of my fridge thought so, I don't think the word "cold" is indicative of the highest-temperature end of a device's operating range. I can't think any single word that's really good, but I think "less cold" would be relatively unambiguous.