140 reputation
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location Oxford, United Kingdom
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visits member for 7 months
seen 16 hours ago

All my original contributions to StackOverflow are hereby placed into the public domain. If this is not legally possible, then anyone receiving a copy of them by any means is granted a non-exclusive perpetual license to use, distribute and modify them, and to distribute modifications, under any license or none, with or without attribution. Please note that this license applies only to my original contributions - quoted material and edits by me to existing material on StackOverflow are not my creations and I cannot grant rights in them.

Useful C++ quotation:

"You allocate objects on the heap. Well, formally, the "free store", but nobody calls it that" –- Pete Becker


16h
comment Is an in-app email function useful to users?
"Which user experience is preferable - emailing from your day to day email client, or doing it in some random application that you have to log into?" -- seems an intentionally loaded question designed to solicit a particular response. You could have loaded it the other way: "which UX is preferable, sending a message to another user immediately, or somehow finding their email address and firing up a separate email client?"
Aug
23
comment Does the Oxford Comma increase readability?
@JonofAllTrades: the discussion as to what's "correct" or "incorrect" probably isn't a UX issue, although that's not to say English would necessarily want it :-) I'd have thought that copy readability is a UX issue, though.
Aug
22
comment Does the Oxford Comma increase readability?
I think the remark on punctuation is just mistaken. In the sentence ("Yes," she said, "I do.") the punctuation can go inside the quotes, fair enough. In the sentence: (A "selfie", as the youngsters call it, is a photo of yourself) it can't, although you could use italics instead to avoid the issue. When listing labels in quotes there should be nothing in the quotes other than the exact label text. I used parentheses to quote my examples there because I really don't think that nesting different types of quotation marks would improve clarity in this case!
Aug
22
comment Does the Oxford Comma increase readability?
@David: I wonder what proportion of questions on the site could reasonably be answered, "if it made much difference, you wouldn't even be considering two different ways to do it, everyone would already be doing the one that was significantly better. Just pick either of them and get on with your life." ;-)
Aug
8
comment Are italics on the web bad for accessibility?
At risk of flogging an old horse, you could in any case use <em> and <strong> for emphasis on the web. If someone has difficulty with italics, that's supposed to be what browser settings (for example local !important style rules) empower them to deal with. That said, if the client "doesn't want italics" that probably means they don't want <em>. Explaining to them that those with accessibility issues can in theory turn off the italics that the client sees using some obscure browser settings, that may or may not be familiar to that user, probably doesn't wash ;-)
Jul
11
comment Show not implemented functionalities to tease the user
In some organizations, if the user is outside the organization and unsupervised then it's by definition not an alpha. Even if it's a really half-assed beta, any external release is beyond the alpha-testing stage. That said, the use of the terms "alpha" and "beta" is pretty idiosyncratic. I don't think you can really assume anything about the meaning of either term other than, "we know it has at least some problems".
Jun
23
comment Why don’t we remove door handles and let doors open both ways (inwards, outwards)?
Next question: once you have designated an "in" door and an "out" door, why not just build the "in" door to only open inwards?
May
30
comment Is it safe to assume everyone uses / has mouse wheels?
@GalacticCowboy: coincidentally, my trackpad driver went haywire last week so I uninstalled it, meaning my trackpad lost its fancy features including gesture and scroll zone support since the default OS handling of the device treats it like a plain old 2-button mouse. Its scroll zone was never any good anyway, but if I'd been using an app that required it I'd have had to fix the driver somehow. There's always PageDown, I suppose :-)
May
23
comment How to prevent users using your app while driving?
For what it's worth, I vaguely recall (but have no study to cite) that if you regularly reward someone and withhold the award for bad behaviour, that's not really much better than punishing the bad behaviour. That is to say, the subjective assessment is whether it's a reward/penalty relative to normal, not whether it's a reward/penalty relative to how things were before the system came along in the first place. Still a good idea to look for clever tricks, but it might not be as easy as it sounds :-)
May
23
comment How to prevent users using your app while driving?
Btw, there seem to be two issues here that could be separate questions. There's a UX question, "should I disable the app if I have reason to be believe it's being used dangerously because it's in a moving vehicle?", to which many people upvoted a "no" answer. There's also a question about technology to detect that the device is in a moving road vehicle (preferably as opposed to other forms of motion), that possibly isn't a UX question at all.
May
23
comment How to prevent users using your app while driving?
@Voo: "would have saved at least one life" -- the usual response (which I generally disagree with) is that the person responsible would have found another way to kill (or in this case, to be distracted while driving) had that particular means not been available. In other words, give everyone missiles, because if they can't kill 20 people in one go with a missile they can just kill 20 people one at a time with their bare hands instead. Then death rates from accidental missile fire will be so high that road deaths no longer seem serious enough to waste time preventing ;-)
May
23
comment How to prevent users using your app while driving?
... admittedly if they're drunk or otherwise seriously judgement-impaired, then stopping them using the app while driving is distinctly less than a half measure ;-)
May
23
comment How to prevent users using your app while driving?
"How do you stop knife-users from killing people?" news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8101032.stm. The issue is not whether the designer trusts the user, it's that the users do not trust themselves. Personally I'm not convinced by that knife design, but here in the UK the majority of people who kill with a knife had no intent to do so when they bought the knife, regret it afterwards, and would not have battered their victim to death absent a stabbing weapon. UX that helps users stick to their plan even when tired/drunk/angry/lazy/frustrated/whatever, can be rather valuable.
May
18
awarded  Critic
Apr
18
comment Why did Microsoft choose the word “Recycle Bin”?
The current content of the file is "trash", the storage it occupies is "recyclable" :-)
Apr
16
comment Should I unsubscribe uninterested mailing-list members?
So to be clear, you're technical and you would unsubscribe on principle from someone who tells you that they've monitored email reads, but not from someone who monitors you but doesn't tell you? That seems ineffectual ;-) I'm reasonably paranoid about monitoring, in fact I block it as far as I can, but if I was going to unsubscribe on principle I'd do it by checking for web bugs myself, not by waiting for the bug-user to tell me about them.
Apr
16
comment Should I unsubscribe uninterested mailing-list members?
This. I don't load images in email by default.
Apr
5
awarded  Supporter
Apr
4
awarded  Teacher
Apr
4
answered What character can I use to represent the space bar?