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


Feb
17
comment Do you need a search button with a search box?
"... not very technical, such as women aged 40-60." ? Ouch! Then again, must mean I am not too average :-D
Feb
14
comment Time Zones and Calendar Interfaces
Nice suggestion. Somewhat along the lines that everytimezone.com takes. The site could do with some more base cities, but I find it very useful and use it regularly to check what time it is for someone who is travelling.
Feb
14
comment I'm considering two different layouts for an index of articles. Which of these is more usable?
Concept 2 has the added challenge that your typography/styling needs to be such that body text base lines in each column line up exactly. If they don't that will detract heavily from the aesthetics and readability. I have yet to find a magazine, newspaper or any other multi-column publication that respects itself, whose body text base lines don't align across columns. They might be around online (where the type setting may be done by non-professionals), but in print...? Doubt it.
Feb
14
comment headings as links
@Thunderforge: True. But to their defense, the styling was probably not developed with touch devices in mind. The sites require a lot of typing if you truly want to take part. How some people are able to write comprehensive answers - including code - on StackOverflow for example, from their mobile phones is totally beyond me. I can't even understand why you would want to - it all seems so tiny and fiddly :-)
Feb
9
comment CAPTCHA on mobile: what are the alternatives?
@RogerAttrill: Yeah... sigh
Feb
9
comment CAPTCHA on mobile: what are the alternatives?
@RogerAttrill: OCR (Optical Character Recognition) has come such a long way since its inception, that captcha's need to be "only just readable" for humans for a reason. Putting instructions in an image is only gonna help until bots pick up on it, especially if that field is the only one with an image for a label. Honestly, the only thing that really thwarts bots (until AI finally takes off) is to have a human use their human faculties to put two things together to come up with a third.
Feb
8
comment How do you deal with notifications that cause changes to a situation or require a response
+1 Especially for the time out period idea. It is also how many ticket reservation systems work to ensure that tickets are actually available from start of reservation through payment and get returned to the available tickets when the payment isn't made within the "tickets are reserved for you" period.
Feb
8
comment CAPTCHA on mobile: what are the alternatives?
@GaëlLaurans: Yes, you're right. I'd call that a variation on the "how many apples in this picture" type question.
Feb
8
comment CAPTCHA on mobile: what are the alternatives?
Oh dear I hadn't spotted the tell tale image yet that @Izkata mentions... That really needs to be removed!
Feb
8
comment CAPTCHA on mobile: what are the alternatives?
Honeypot fields are nice, but will only work as long as form/css developers don't use obvious words to identify the classes used to hide the fields from humans, and bot developers haven't picked up on those words.
Feb
8
comment CAPTCHA on mobile: what are the alternatives?
It's nice, but will only work as long as bot developers haven't yet picked up on the words used to tell a human to leave the field blank.
Feb
8
comment CAPTCHA on mobile: what are the alternatives?
+1 This is a very nice variation on making a human use faculties that bots' would find incredibly hard to emulate: the "how many apples in this picture?" type questions, provided the pictures and the questions and the answers are varied sufficiently randomly.
Feb
8
comment CAPTCHA on mobile: what are the alternatives?
+1 for all the ideas you provide, but in the end everything is automatable and bot developers will pick up on and find ways around all bot deterrents (see my comments on the question as well). The only thing that can distinguish a human from a bot is asking the human to make use of human faculties that bots' would find incredibly hard to emulate: the "how many apples in this picture?" type questions, provided the pictures and the questions and answers are varied sufficiently randomly.
Feb
8
comment CAPTCHA on mobile: what are the alternatives?
... The slider sounds interesting as does anything javascript/css based, but bot developers will eventually load both if that is what is needed to allow them to do their dirty work. Even the "phone" option @Mervin talks about is automatable. The only thing that can distinguish a human from a bot is asking the human to make use of human faculties that bots' would find incredibly hard to emulate: the "how many apples in this picture?" type questions, provided the pictures and the questions are varied sufficiently randomly.
Feb
8
comment CAPTCHA on mobile: what are the alternatives?
Hate to spoil the party here, but I agree with @WChargin. Anything a human can do with a page, a bot will be able to do as well. Software is getting smarter and smarter and how well a "bot deterrent" works really is only a matter of how much effort the bot developer needs to expend to thwart it. Honeypot fields are nice now, but bot developers will pick up on that and their effectiveness will dwindle, especially as long as form developers keep using "recognizable" css class names to hide them for humans. ... continued ...
Feb
7
comment headings as links
@AlbeyAmakiir Perhaps, not so much poor conveyance as a case of "not-in-your-face" progressive disclosure? Anybody waving his/her mouse about would have found them to be links.
Feb
7
comment Why is it an industry-standard to have a window automatically grab focus and how do we change it? (in Windows at least)
It is hardly an industry standard. It is good UX when the window opens as a result of explicit user action, would be kinda weird if it didn't in this case. It is very bad UX for non-explicit opening windows. This is in fact now actively discouraged by Windows. Both in its guidelines as well as in its making "put me in front" much harder to achieve. Unfortunately old habits die hard and code using the old API's is still out there.
Feb
6
revised How to best align numbers and text in one column?
added 235 characters in body
Feb
6
comment Cancelling drag-n-drop action before drop
Well yes of course :) improve away, but what you should not do is go against the platform... (as in not offering the platform's way of doing it) Sort of a Liskov Substitution Principle for UI/UX.
Feb
6
answered How to best align numbers and text in one column?