4,546 reputation
31225
bio website marjanvenema.com
location Netherlands
age 52
visits member for 3 years, 8 months
seen 14 hours ago

Software developer since 1985. Started in Cobol, moved via Clipper/VB to Delphi. Delphi developer since 1998. Sniffing at C# and playing around with javascript and some php for websites. Coaching new employees and less experienced developers. Focused on software architecture and SOLID design. Keenly interested in user experience and usability.

Questions

When you ask a question, show your effort, provide all the details that will help someone to help you and be precise.

Answers

When you answer a question, don't just paste your code. Your answers will be much better when you explain why your code is doing what it does and how it achieves the asker's goal. It makes it a whole lot easier to follow along. As it is I am much more inclined to up-vote answers that have explanatory text about what the code is doing and why it is written as it is.

Answers that just contain links aren't likely to get an up-vote from me either

Other

Obligatory link whenever someone thinks they are improving security by imposing all sorts of rules on password composition: Password strength


Mar
29
comment Why do squares look taller than wide on screens?
Out of curiosity: have you tried giving your square equal amounts of "margin" so that equal amounts of the background grid are visible on all sides? Does the illusion still exist then?
Mar
18
comment How wide should a webpage get?
@KitGrose: yes, and that is fine, provided you ensure that there is no need for vertical scrolling (as well). Ever tried to read a pdf document with multiple columns where the pages are higher than your screen? It sucks.
Mar
17
comment How wide should a webpage get?
Ok, that would space out the top three blocks. But wouldn't doing that destroy alignment of the wide text block beneath them when you also restrict the lines to a maximum for readable length? Either line lengths in the wide block would get too long, or you would need to introduce white space on its left or right which w/could make a mess of the nice alignment the blocks are showing in your example, unless you restrict increasing the padding to the page margins and the gutter between the gray/black and blue blocks? Try doing that in a standard grid system :)
Mar
17
comment How wide should a webpage get?
Ok, I guess I am hypothesizing a bit, but what if, in your big/wide example, the site simply doesn't have any more blocks of content to shift around and the viewport still gets wider. Would you then shift the content blocks in the top content row down to the left or right of the wide content block? Could work I suppose.
Mar
17
comment How much customisation should be permitted?
Why not adopt the approach that the SE network of sites has taken: one overall design for all sites allowing css styling (including images) on a per site basis. It makes the microsites both recognizable as belonging to "the whole" and inidividual enough to be recognized as a specific microsite in a single glance.
Mar
17
comment How wide should a webpage get?
Just wondering: in the very wide view layout padding between columns/cells is not going to help to reduce the line length of the wide text portion. Adding or increasing margins in this portion is going to mess up the (perceived) grid. So what can you to restrict the width of all text blocks to a readable length apart from page margins? The only thing I can think of is to have columns within the wide text block, but that can really mess up the read experience with longer texts, as you would have to scroll up and down to go from one column to the next. Please help my foggy brain here...
Mar
16
comment What are standard visual cues to use for multicolumn sorted table
Sorry don't understand your comment. It would be strange if phpmyadmin ignored the order of a select clause, but even if it lists columns in creation order (for example when double clicking a table), that order can still differ from the order in which columns appear in the "order by" clause. Just adding arrows indicating the sort direction is not going to be much help then. For example columns are listed as a, b, c, d, e, f and order by is "e asc, c desc, a asc", just adding arrows would imply the sort order is "a asc, c desc, e asc" which is completely different.
Mar
16
comment What are standard visual cues to use for multicolumn sorted table
Regardless of the icon used to indicate the sort direction of a single column, a more interesting question to answer is how you are going to indicate in which order the columns appeared in the sort clause, especially if that order is different from the order in the select clause. (As the bug patch you are working is a preparation for the multi-column sort feature request).
Mar
15
comment Is there a method for deciding when it is okay to remove a feature?
Interesting app. Thanks for the link. Btw, this may have been better as a comment, but I know you don't have the rep for that yet (need 50 to comment on every post).
Mar
14
comment Is it easier to get a user to watch a video, or to scroll?
You should offer both. For the reasons @mtsyganov gives, but also because people differ in the way they like to ingest information. Some prefer watching a video, others prefer reading. If you pick just one, you stand to lose a significant part of your potential public.
Mar
14
comment Can't get users to choose the language they speak on language learning site
@InfoStatus At once doesn't have to mean as a single input choice. You could have two selection boxes or radio groups as long as they are both on the same page/form.
Mar
14
comment Why does stackexchange not underline hyperlinks?
IE has an "always underline links" option in its settings, but can't find it in Chrome.
Mar
14
comment Would a hard to learn UI be acceptable?
@JohnDeters: I envy you your optimism. I really do. Yes many complex things can be simplified. However, complex things that let themselves be simplified by reordering/restructuring are the complicated ones. "Complicated" taken here as things that - perhaps over time - have been made unnecessarily complex. Inherent complexity is hardly ever simplifiable unless a breakthrough is made in science, engineering, ... and/or all the rules which companies have to abide by.
Mar
13
comment Should a call to action float in a long page?
Personally, I hate floating anythings. That said, a floating call-to-action button could be perceived as an even more annoying in-your-face obnoxion (pretty sure that isn't a word, but it sounds good here). Sort of like a foot-in-the-door door-to-door salesman.
Mar
13
comment Would a hard to learn UI be acceptable?
@JohnDeters: because not everything in life is easy. When you try to simplify (make easy to learn and use) something that is inherently complex, you will fail. Either because simplifying isn't possible or because the simplification only caters to 80% of the use cases and thus does not cover the 20% of hard cases where the application should actually deliver most of its value for the experts.
Mar
13
comment Benefit of “Twisty bottom” ballpoint pens over “Clicky tops”
@VitalyMijiritsky: I used to have a colleague who clicked his clicky pen against his shoulder... It never ceased to amaze me, yet silly he wasn't :-)
Mar
13
comment Why are those Sign-in/sign-out icon a convention?
On my Android phone incoming calls point left and outgoing calls point right with the icons are on the left of the call log. Keeps confusing the heck out of me. The addition of the brackets makes it much clearer, regardless of which way the arrows point. The green "running people" icons are completely useless for me. It took me a long time to figure out that the left one must be exiting because the hind foot was indoors. The right one still has me wondering whether he's coming in or going out...
Mar
13
comment Should I send users to the [group] they just created or show them the new [group] in context?
What do you envision happening most: creating a single group and fleshing it out, or creating/naming several new groups and only adding details to a group when the need arises? Answer should give you a fair indication on which way to go.
Mar
12
comment Beyond a one-size-fits-many-Westerners approach: Which mobile apps take localization seriously?
@DeerHunter: How? I think that this could very well be supported by facts about the development environments available for the various platforms. But then it is no longer a question about UX, but about IDE's and doesn't belong here either. :)
Mar
12
comment Is Parent.se confusing users with link color?
SE is darkening visited links here on UX as well. And on programmers, and on the main SO site. Though the difference between the two colors could be improved to make it easier to recognize, I don't think there is a rule as to whether visited links should be lighter or darker than unvisited ones.