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I have two apps:

App #2 reads text files to display 3D objects with specific coordinates (e.g. a sphere, a cube, a pyramide and a cylinder) in a VR environment with each file having its own unique name. The main menu has buttons for a limited amount of objects you can choose from (1 button = 1 object). If there's only one text file, there's also only a single button.

App #1 is used to manage these objects: It lists the names of all existing files, lets you download new ones and delete old ones (there are a couple more features). It also lets you choose a specific file from its list and start up app #2 with it.

Now here's the hard part: If you have to choose between user-friendliness vs. conformity, what do you usually go for and why?

In my case: Let's say I choose a sphere in app #1 and click on the "open app #2" button, what would you (a user of my app) expect to happen:

a) Instantly display the sphere (user-friendly because no "are you sure" "message") OR

b) show the main menu with just a single button for the sphere (conform with how my app works otherwise)

Are there any occassions when you should always choose user-friendliness over conformity (and vice versa)?

  • I would say that your app should do as the button says. It will be annoying for the user to have the extra step when they already said they wanted to open the file. Otherwise you should change the wording on the button, so it reflects what happens when you click it. – Anders Jun 12 '18 at 8:24
  • @Anders Sorry, i mixed it up with an older version, the button in the current version now says "open app #2" (to save some space) but it won't do anything unless there's a file selected. Does this make a difference? – Neph Jun 12 '18 at 9:23
  • Then it is a toss up, and I would probably go with just opening the app. But UX wise it should open up the file directly. Unless there are other options that just Open in App1 when the file is selected. – Anders Jun 12 '18 at 9:47
  • @Anders So open the app and show a single button for the object you picked? Yes, apart from "open app #2" there are other options, e.g. "delete", which permanently deletes the selected file from the phone's storage after showing an "are you sure you want to delete ...." dialog. For everything else there's a Toast (small message at the bottom at the screen that vanishes on its own after a couple of seconds) at most and only once something has finished successfully. – Neph Jun 12 '18 at 9:58
  • Sorry I mixed it up, I meant in App #2, are there other options there? – Anders Jun 12 '18 at 10:07
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When there is only one purpose of App #2 you should open up the file directly no matter the wording on the button in App #1. Even though it might not follow how things are done throughout the apps, it would be an annoyance if you used them a lot and had to press an extra button for no apparent reason.

So go with UX in this case...

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I agree with Andres. The button says "display in app #2", so the result should be the sphere displayed in app #2. Generally, if the user is guided it is not too bad if the app is not fully conform. Opening a menu with just one button which will be click anyways would look and feel bad.

  • Sorry, I mixed it up with an older version. The actual wording on the button is "open app #2" (will edit it above) but it won't do anything unless there's a file selected in the list. If there's only a single file and you directly open #2 (without going through app #1), there's a button because otherwise you won't know which objects the app found (it says something like "sphere - textfile1234"). But yes, that was one of my concerns: Not showing a main menu when you open app #1 first might confuse the user but having an additional "are you sure" step is annoying, so there's always a trade-off. – Neph Jun 12 '18 at 9:19

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