4,761 reputation
931
bio website alexfeinman.net
location Boston, MA
age
visits member for 4 years
seen Aug 20 at 14:08

I'm a UX specialist investigating analysis and design of multi-user interaction. I specialize in design of CLIs and GUIs for use by programmers, QEs, and release engineers.

My doctoral work centered around using discourse analysis techniques to understand design requirements for groupware. I am currently employed helping to design a complex versioning/building/testing system.

In my spare time, I write science fiction; my first novel Duplicate is available as an eBook, paperback, or hardcover. My second novel, We Were Gods is also available as an eBook or paperback. Yes, there's a fair amount of programming and user experience in each of them. ;)

My statements on these websites are not official statements from any employer of mine.


Aug
12
comment Is Markdown for emails effective?
Who are your users? How much support do you give them? Do you provide a GUI front-end that generates Markdown, or responsive feedback when they type it in?
Jul
7
comment Why are double-handle taps still installed in households and public washrooms?
You might be interested in similar discussion in this question: ux.stackexchange.com/questions/57929/…
Jun
4
comment Merging firstname/last name into one field
This entire case makes the (often incorrect) assumption that the user has precisely two names, and that their personal name comes first.
May
28
comment Why do door knobs still exist?
IIRC, Ireland had a huge amount of new construction in the 90s. Maybe you're seeing the newer install base?
May
27
comment Why do door knobs still exist?
When installing a knob, it can be "twisted" with respect to level and you won't notice--the only sign is that the screw holes (mostly hidden by the knob) may not be perfectly aligned. With a handle, the entire handle will be tilted to the left or right. A professional installer will have a jig that makes this easier...which costs money and takes extra training.
May
27
comment is text preferable over digits?
Just be wary of only using red vs. green. Something like 1-5% of the population are color blind...
May
7
comment How to show range sliders on mobile
A circle slider might be useful for selecting a circular interval, for example, hours for a daily timer.
May
7
comment How to show range sliders on mobile
Are you looking for a design solution, or for a module that implements a draggable slider?
Apr
28
comment How many icons are reasonable?
There are very few users who would routinely recognize and be able to distinguish 1000 icons! Maybe a few dozen. Think about how often people mistake one icon for another on their phone's screens. Consider some other way to organize information.
Apr
25
comment “soft” error messaging. Is that a thing? Precedence?
[Error, warning, info] is a common pattern in development contexts, and may make sense for some UIs as well. Errors block progress; warnings don't, but should be heeded; Info is strictly for additional assistance.
Apr
17
comment How do I best explain 3 ways to divide a volume?
Could you put a small graphic next to the text for each button, to reinforce the options?
Mar
26
comment Should you concede to user demands that seem clearly inferior?
+1. Users often don't know why, and will make up lies if you press them for a reason, but they know what they don't like.
Mar
25
comment Are there usability problems with optgroup?
Have you tried asking the people giving the feedback what their reasons are? That would be an interesting conversation. Don't let them stay with "for no reason" (which, btw, is highly unlikely--it might be "for no GOOD reason" to you, but there's always a reason, and it might be good to the other person).
Mar
17
comment Are there PhD topics for user experience?
Experiences definitely differ here. While some came in with the same idea they left with, many of my cohort either had no idea--or had an idea only to discover their PhD ended up wildly different than what they'd originally aimed for.
Mar
13
comment Is there an established gradient of colors reflecting completeness of a form?
Red vs. Green presents a number of problems. They only mean "stop/go" in some cultures; and there is a sizeable red/green color-blind population.
Mar
13
comment Benefit of “Twisty bottom” ballpoint pens over “Clicky tops”
I can (and do) twist my twisty pens with one hand...
Mar
7
comment Should we fake succesful form submit, display result and then revert if some conditions are not met?
This technique is becoming widely used among sites, yes, especially on mobile apps--G+ and Facebook both seem to use it. Interestingly it also matches a conversational pattern among humans, where you presume you've been heard, and expect to get interrupted later if your message wasn't received right...
Mar
6
comment What is the expected result for mouse inputs in web based applications?
I think this is a very new trend--only in the past 2-3 years, as developers get more used to overriding the standard browser right-click menu.
Feb
27
comment How to handle settings which can be both set mechanically and via a computer?
Some of the old patterns there were pretty awful. For example, changing volume in software would persist until you accidentally nudged the hardware controls--at which point the volume would jump to the hardware-set leves, potentially blowing out your spreakers. So perhaps not the best source of positive lessons...
Jan
13
comment Why is everything becoming flatter?
You might also ask why everything became shiny and 3D in the 90s and 00s. The short answer: because technology supported it.