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Jun
30
comment Are two toggle buttons better than a tri-state switch?
As @tohster put in his answer, you're probably better off sticking with a two-state toggle (in/out), followed by a "clear" button that resets the state of the toggle. This is especially good if you only expect users to be using it as a sort of "undo", rather than a separate legitimate option.
Jun
30
comment Are two toggle buttons better than a tri-state switch?
Using color to infer meaning is a bad idea; on average, about 4.5% of the population suffers some type of color vision deficiency -- this means if you have at least 20 users, you very likely have at least one colorblind user who will be frustrated (especially with red/green, which is one of the most common CVDs). Source: I worked with someone who had CVD and was very frustrated by our admin panel's usage of red/green buttons to indicate a server's online state.
Jun
30
comment Are two toggle buttons better than a tri-state switch?
I have no idea why this suggestion doesn't have more votes. Since users are primarily expected to select "in" or "out", a two-state toggle makes the most sense here, alongside a de-emphasized option to "clear" or "reset" the choice (i.e. deselecting both). This makes it clear that "undecided" isn't so much a legitimate option unto itself, as it is a means of undoing an accidental click.
Jun
30
comment Are two toggle buttons better than a tri-state switch?
Yes, a combo box seems too "heavy" for a three-option selection. @AndrewMartin I'd say 4 is actually probably the middle ground (4 radio buttons can get a bit unwieldy if not managed right, but a combo box still requires a significant amount of effort relative to the radio buttons). For three options, especially when one is basically only an "undo", a combo box still feels "heavier" than a set of radios.
Feb
21
comment Should form 'Continue' button be disabled if validation is incomplete?
The downside to disabling is accessibility -- if the user has javascript disabled, all your inline validation and more importantly the code that allows you to re-enable the button goes out the window and the form is left useless.
Feb
21
comment Should form 'Continue' button be disabled if validation is incomplete?
I agree with most of this -- the important part is to make sure it's CLEAR to the user WHY The continue button is disabled if you're going to do it that way (which I feel is better than waiting until the user clicks it and then generating an error and making them go back).
Feb
4
comment Why are keyboards still the predominant input device?
WRT to accessibility, my legally blind brother in law has three computers and spends the majority of his waking hours on them. He's tried many alternate input forms, and nothing has proven as usable as a vanilla QWERTY keyboard for him. He occasionally gets his fingers shifted off home position "si tiy get a nessage kuje tgus" (so you get a message like this), but it happens rarely, and the keyboard allows him to actually write stories and participate in online communities, something he can't do without a computer due to his blindness and other disabilities.
Feb
1
comment “Standard” or “best” UI element for “turn offline” and “turn online”?
I like the idea of adding a verb... still trying to find a graphical indicator though, as space on the screen is limited. In case you couldn't tell from the screenshot, the admin interface was designed by engineers :P
Jan
23
comment “Standard” or “best” UI element for “turn offline” and “turn online”?
We use "Offline" and "Online" as verbs in day-to-day speech, so I'd like to use those as the action titles. I do think that perhaps doing away with the button backgrounds might be the right direction. As a sort of graphic indicator for the state, I was think perhaps the Unicode curved arrows, e.g. "Online ⤴" (U+2934) and "Offline ⤵" (U+2935)? Since onlining a system can be considered "bringing it up" and offlining "bringing it down", I think these arrows convey that action. Do you folks think this adds constructively, or just adds clutter?
Jan
22
comment Is there any attempt to standardize a “cancel” action in elevator buttons?
@PatomaS: now imagine those kids on that same elevator with other people, but the elevator has a "cancel stop" feature. How annoying would it be if those kids canceled your stop as you were going up and you had to either get off at some floor above and try to catch another elevator back down to your floor, or wait for it to finish going ALL THE WAY up to wherever the last (legitimate) passenger was going, and then ride it ALL THE WAY back down to your floor?
Oct
30
comment Alternative reward levels to “Gold, Silver, Bronze”?
If you were to go with the jewel theme, you could improve ranking differentiability by increasing the number of sides of the jewel on higher ranks, and keeping the colors in spectral order (e.g. ruby, topaz, citrine, emerald, sapphire, amethyst, diamond). The side count can be differentiated by a fully colorblind user, though less than the star counts for low-sight users, while fully sighted users will quickly learn to correlate the spectral association with rank.
Oct
30
comment Alternative reward levels to “Gold, Silver, Bronze”?
A benefit to the star-based system is that they have greater accessibility. While you can carefully tune your gold/silver/bronze colors to maintain easy differentiability even for colorblind or low-sight users, counting stars is easier for either class of user than trying to differentiate color.
Oct
30
comment Alternative reward levels to “Gold, Silver, Bronze”?
Of note on the star designs, bear in mind the stars need not be arranged linearly, depending on your UI layout. One star obviously has no dimension, and two stars have to be next to each other, but 3 stars can be arranged in a triangle (for either 1/2/3 or 3/4/5), and in a 3/4/5 scheme the 4 stars can be arranged in a square and 5 in a pentagon. Of course linear always remains an option if that fits your layout better :)
Sep
26
comment Which way do arrows point on a tabbed web page?
@SNag I see the lighter space as a "container" for the content, and thus all four of the arrows will point into the container (the arrow from option one just incidentally happens to be pointing to the title). By your logic, why should "arbitrary white space" be pointing to an option?
Aug
8
comment Should people be able to change their usernames?
They'd have to visit the pages of many users who have changed usernames to actually accumulate these cookies. Also, there would ideally be an "expiration" time for this behavior, so that after someone else has had the page for a year, the cookie is no longer set. This would help minimize the number of pages on which this behavior occurs, and reduce the number of cookies that would need to be set.
Jul
28
comment “Do Not Disturb” tags in hotels, how can they be improved?
@HotLicks: not everyone has a necktie handy -- should a woman have to pack a necktie when she travels just to use as a "do not disturb" sign, or a guy vacationing at the beach and dressing casual?
Jul
28
comment “Do Not Disturb” tags in hotels, how can they be improved?
@njzk2 many hotels are more "environmentally friendly" these days, only doing cleanings every 2-3 days (which conveniently saves them money to pad their bottom line too). "Please Clean" tells them you want your room cleaned regardless of the interval, and "Do Not Disturb" says you don't want it cleaned. "Do Not Disturb" also informs other possible visitors you don't want them to knock/visit.
May
21
comment How to prevent users using your app while driving?
The speed-based solution by itself is terrible. I have been blocked from using certain apps while riding on the train, because the train exceeds (by far) 15mph -- yet in no way am I doing anything that could endanger myself or others.The "attention verification test", on the other hand, might not be a terrible idea.
Apr
17
comment Why did early telephones use a rotary dial instead of 10 individual buttons?
@JosephtheDreamer that's still talking about TONE dialing (which was a newer development over pulse dialing). The question simply asked why buttons weren't used, to which the answer is "there wasn't a simple way to mechanically generate a series of pulses with a single button press". Even the bold part of your answer does not cover this.
Apr
17
comment Why did early telephones use a rotary dial instead of 10 individual buttons?
@jb then this should be clarified; just describing how each one works doesn't answer the question. Imagine for a moment if someone asked you "the green shirt looks better on you -- why did you wear the blue shirt today instead of the green shirt?", and you answered "the blue shirt is made of cotton, and the green shirt is made of polyester" without bothering to tell them that polyester irritates your skin. Did you really answer their question?