Questions tagged [desktop-application]

program installed on user's machine as opposed to a program that runs remotely and is accessed via an internet browser.

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81
votes
9answers
12k views

User's reaction to a web-browser opening upon exiting application

I am a game developer and I want players of one game to know and try my other games, so I came up with the idea to launch their default browser, only after they quit the game for the first time, to my ...
75
votes
20answers
4k views

How can I keep up-to-date with the latest thinking about designing complex, rich applications?

I am designing a very complex eco-system of apps. I like to make sure I am up-to-date with the latest thinking, research and trends in app and UI/UX design. I find that there are many great articles, ...
70
votes
10answers
18k views

Undo History - Why limit it? [closed]

Why do most applications have fairly limited 'undo' history functionality? I've been caught out on multiple occasions (granted its technically my fault) where I've needed to undo a number of changes ...
40
votes
9answers
5k views

What are the drawbacks of designing a Windows application to look like a Mac application?

I'm working with a company whose product is a Microsoft Windows application. As the UI/UX designer (and as a Mac user) I want to redesign the application so it is more visually appealing. Are there ...
38
votes
8answers
7k views

What is the purpose of having a clock on the desktop?

It is common for a clock to be placed somewhere on the desktop - in Windows, it is on the taskbar. But why do designers do this? It makes sense on a phone, for example, but when on a computer, I ...
32
votes
5answers
7k views

Is scroll within a card good or bad? (In desktop)

I am designing a board view which has card design with huge data in it. So, I am using scroll in a card. Is that a good user experience or is there any better solution?
29
votes
6answers
2k views

What is the best way to get users to discover and learn keyboard shortcuts

In a mouse driven desktop application, with a ribbon style interface and which has no menubar, what is the best way for users to learn about the shortcuts and accelerators which can help a user work ...
26
votes
12answers
6k views

Users forgetting to regenerate PDF before sending it

My company is developing an ERP software for small businesses and we're encountering a recurrent problem. In the "Invoices" part of the app, there's a "View/Print" button that exports the invoice to ...
25
votes
5answers
4k views

Is it standard practice to indicate on the form that Caps Lock is on?

In forms where certain input fields have case sensitive input data, is it an accepted or standard practice to indicate somewhere on the form that caps lock is on? I am thinking that this concept doesn'...
25
votes
5answers
21k views

Is there a Windows 8 desktop UI Guideline or HIG anywhere in the world? [duplicate]

And I don't mean Win 7 / Metro UI guidelines, I have them up the wazoo, but I've changed jobs and need to start looking at the new Windows 8 DESKTOP design. I know it takes a lot of cues from Metro on ...
21
votes
6answers
4k views

Search box UI - “all words”, “partial match”, “exact phrase”

I'm designing a desktop application (boring accounting stuff) and I have a "search product" feature. I want to have a nice but simple 'smart' search box. Currently, the search box works by splitting ...
21
votes
4answers
5k views

Options, preferences, settings, configurations: What to call them in my application?

I've seen a lot of different applications use a lot of different terminology for the part of the application that lets you change the settings. But are there any advantages/conventions as to using one ...
19
votes
2answers
3k views

Is a home screen really needed?

I've stumbled upon a post on Medium, that says that the home screen concept is outdated for mobile devices. I think that home screen is great for basic user (thinking about my mother) as a "safe" ...
19
votes
7answers
14k views

The logic behind having an OK button and Apply button

Moving back to desktop land after being drunk with mobile interfaces, desktop dialogs almost always have these three buttons: OK Apply Cancel A close button. This pattern seems to occur on both ...
19
votes
3answers
1k views

How to indicate a table is missing rows that have been filtered out?

Do you know of any aesthetically-pleasing and effective ways of indicating that a table's contents have been filtered, without the filter information getting in the way? Some background on my ...
19
votes
2answers
2k views

Where should the “preferences” item go in a desktop application?

I find that the "preferences" menu item is always in a different place, and often under an arbitrary name which always makes it a pain to locate unless you're already familiar with the software. I ...
16
votes
6answers
13k views

Why does Skype's “x” button minimize the application instead of closing?

I was browsing through the web and I came across this sentiment: Dear Skype, this (red X) button means close, not minimize I also found the same question on the Skype website. Why would a company ...
16
votes
4answers
4k views

Should Dialogs be avoided in modern applications?

I have used a few dialogs on the last system I designed. The application was a business application with many database tables and I used many datagrids to show data. It was common that I placed a ...
15
votes
5answers
12k views

Desktop software design patterns

There are a lot of resources on the web about web applications design patterns, but only a few about desktop applications. And this is quite strange as most of the business targeted software is (...
15
votes
5answers
949 views

Why do most Desktop sites look just like Tablet sites now? [closed]

Since all of the Adaptive- and Responsive-Design trends have taken over UX and web design, I've noticed that the vast majority of sites I go to - and which I browse predominantly on a laptop or ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

Desktop metaphor - Why is it called “windows”?

The desktop metaphor is modelled after a real life desk with files and folders on top and useful items (calculator, trash bin...) nearby. And when we take something in our hands to examine it more ...
14
votes
7answers
724 views

The rationale of progress indicators for online articles

The display of a non-interactive progress bar that reflects the amount of content that the user has read/scrolled through seems to be reflecting the trend that users want distinct visual indicators as ...
14
votes
5answers
712 views

Should a special slider value be implemented with a checkbox or not?

I am creating a dialog box for a GIMP plugin that exports images in the WebP format. The dialog currently looks something like this: download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

Why are line numbers in text editors and programming IDEs so often disabled by default?

It feels like most environments for editing code have line numbers hidden by default. For example, Eclipse, IntelliJ, Oracle SQL Developer, and Vim all seem to have the default setting as not showing ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

How to represent an abstract data type in a form?

I'm building a graphical tool for programmers to ease the use of a library. The library has a data type which I will call AbstractType that all types inherit from - Image, File, etc. The list of ...
13
votes
9answers
2k views

Warn desktop user of draggable website

I'm building a site that uses the jQuery iScroll plugin in the main navigation system. (http://lab.cubiq.org/iscroll/examples/simple/). Please note that the plugin is not exactly drag-n-drop. Right ...
13
votes
4answers
14k views

What is the ideal height of a button in regular desktop applications?

On most GUI creator (I just checked Qt Creator and Flex Builder), it seems the default button height is about 22 pixels. This is what I use for most desktop applications I create except those I make ...
13
votes
2answers
582 views

Is Desktop Window Title Necessary?

I'm currently working on a desktop app and wonder if the program name is really necessary in the title bar? I know that latest versions of App Store and iTunes doesn't have it at all. But if we leave ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

Placeholder text vs. disabled text

I currently develop some forms in a desktop application. There is the idea to use placeholder texts in some input fields (edits) as known from HTML forms or touch systems like smartphones. But ...
12
votes
7answers
1k views

Saving & restoring undo stack — good or bad?

In a sovereign desktop app with multi-level undo/redo (ie Photoshop, Word, etc), would being able to save and restore the undo history of a file with the file itself be a good thing or a bad thing? My ...
12
votes
3answers
323 views

What are the reasons why the mobile apps market is more developed and active than the desktop one?

What are the reasons why the mobile apps market is more developed and active than the desktop one?
12
votes
6answers
7k views

Which one is better in our case if MDI is considered bad?

We are developing a financial reporting system, which is able to display many, I mean MANY, different reports from different angles. For example, the reports for position, deal, market risk, for ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Prominent Notification Areas in a Desktop Application

I am working on ux for a desktop application for users. I am looking to find out more information, answers, best practices when it comes to handling notifications of actions and other alerts within a ...
12
votes
3answers
344 views

Can placing dark and light elements or blocks next to each other in a UI lead to problems in visual perception?

A designer on my project has proposed something that uses both light and dark backgrounds within the same context (basic mockups below). A short background for the app: It is a platform on which you ...
11
votes
6answers
756 views

What to put in the About box?

I wonder what useful stuff one can put in an About box in a Mac OS X program. Most basic the About box displays Program icon Program name Version number Copyright More sophisticated ones displays ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

What's the best way to get reliable user feedback on a desktop application?

Lately my company has been trying to figure out the best way to get reliable feedback from a our users. It seems that we hear things from our power users and mostly from those who have trouble, but ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Icon-only navigation bar for a desktop application?

I am working on a groupware application running as a desktop application (not in the browser). I wanted to keep the interface really simple and minimalistic so my users will not get distracted by a ...
10
votes
13answers
1k views

When would you prefer a custom/skinned user interface in a desktop application?

I'm working on an application whose UI is skin-based, but it looks a little bit old (its graphics were designed more than 5 yeas ago). It's not clear to me whether we should consider a redesign or get ...
10
votes
2answers
540 views

Choosing appropriate words for error levels

I develop an open-source, system monitoring tool, ServiceMon, and I'd really appreciate some help choosing the right words to use for a feature. The state of the system that is being monitored is ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

What grid should I use designing UI for the desktop app? [closed]

I'm redesigning iTunes desktop app and my first version of it was designed without grids. I was told I should have had to use grid to eliminate the chaos in my design. So for 1920 x 1080 px design ...
9
votes
3answers
352 views

Why do menu labels behave differently in desktop applications and websites?

In a desktop application when you click a menu, you see all the options which reside within it, in a drop-down/pop-up list. In many websites with a navigation menu which has sub-categories, I have ...
9
votes
10answers
2k views

How can I deal with too much blank space in a desktop application?

Usually people are concerned with too much data/interface, and not enough screen real estate, but I'm in the opposite situation. The desktop application I'm working on has several tabs for entering ...
9
votes
6answers
994 views

iPhone like UI for Desktop apps

Is there any reason why an iPhone like UI paradigms shouldn't be adopted while designing a desktop application? Let's say you're developing a windows application, can you not use something similar to ...
9
votes
4answers
819 views

Design for Application consistency or follow OS convention?

When we design applications to be used in the new world of cross channeling, we need to take into account a lot of different factors. Not only do we need to address in which environment the app is ...
8
votes
2answers
482 views

Has user testing ever revealed that you have to change your app's UI colour?

Dark-themed UI colours have been popular for a while on certain desktop applications (Adobe Lightroom as an example), and seem to be popping up on mobile applications as well. I'm referring to the ...
8
votes
5answers
744 views

What factors should I consider when [re]designing a home page / home screen?

I've been considering redesigning the home screen for the next release in a desktop application I'm responsible for. This could probably be thought of as a brand-new design, since I have virtually no ...
8
votes
3answers
7k views

Best Practices: Save and Exit in Software UI

This has been discussed a few times on here for web implementations but never for a desktop application. Being we have a title bar/file menu/toolbar etc. what is the best practice for closing a window ...
8
votes
4answers
268 views

Is there ever a circumstance where the user should be notified of a user interface no-op?

The headline may be a bit confusing, so here's a web example (although this question is equally applicable to desktop applications): I open up the same eBay listing in 2 separate tabs of my web ...
8
votes
1answer
477 views

Best practice to ask for donation on a windows application?

How to ask for donation on a free windows application, without risking being pushy ? This old question is only talking about websites: Best UX to ask for donations I want to remind people to donate, ...
7
votes
11answers
2k views

Selecting multiple folders

I'm in the process of improving folder selection process of a backup software my company has developed. The goal is to have the user select the folder(s) he/she wishes to backup. This page describes ...