All Questions

753
votes
17answers
131k views

Should “Yes, delete it” be red, or green?

Designing an interface for a CMS (Content Management System), I stumbled upon a paradox and I'm a bit confused about what to do and why to do it.. Context Before deleting an album, the user is asked ...
560
votes
11answers
217k views

Why is the mouse cursor slightly tilted and not straight?

Is this a legacy thing or does a tilted cursor serves a purpose? I can tell that, the angle provides a totally vertical left edge which helps when highlighting text but what else apart from that? ...
500
votes
16answers
69k views

Should error messages apologize?

We are having a discussion on our team about an error message that says "Sorry, you do not have permission to access this feature. Please contact your administrator for assistance." Is it ...
469
votes
24answers
40k views

Why do people clear the screen multiple times when using a calculator?

I've noticed that most people when using a real or a virtual calculator, they hit the Clear button multiple times when clearing the screen (even though hitting it once is enough), so I started ...
430
votes
10answers
152k views

Why do credit card forms ask for Visa, MasterCard, etc.?

You can tell if it's a Visa or MasterCard based on the number it starts with, i.e. 4 for Visa, 5 for MasterCard. Why do most billing forms request the type of card? It's not a barrier for bots (to my ...
423
votes
21answers
71k views

Should a toggle button show its current state or the state to which it will change?

I have a quick question about buttons that toggle between two states. (Think Play/Pause, or Shuffle/Regular Play.) As the title says, should the toggle show it's current state or the state to which it ...
360
votes
20answers
32k views

What explains the current shift from glossy UIs to matte UIs?

I've noticed an interesting phenomenon in the user interfaces of many famous applications, they're moving away from the glossy complex to a more dull and bare minimum design. Why the sudden change? ...
322
votes
14answers
75k views

Should I use Yes/No or Ok/Cancel on my message box?

Semantically, the Yes/No buttons are roughly equivalent to the Ok/Cancel buttons, but in general what would you recommend to use? Should I always use Yes/No or always use Ok/Cancel? Or does it depend ...
313
votes
20answers
75k views

Is this rotating cube interface user-friendly?

I'm working on a prototype for an innovative form interface, where different parts of the form are shown on different sides of a cube. The cube rotates, and the user can fill it out as the cube spins. ...
307
votes
22answers
98k views

OK/Cancel on left/right?

Should OK button be on left of Cancel button or vice versa? Are there any studies suggesting either of the solutions?
290
votes
15answers
46k views

Are carousels effective?

Go to just about any eCommerce site and the homepage is nearly guaranteed to feature a carousel - an auto-rotating panel, usually with some sort of small navigation, usually highlighting new product ...
274
votes
5answers
25k views

Why do progress bars animate backwards?

Gmail's new loading bar drew my attention to this today: The colored pattern inside the bar animates from right to left. The Mac OS progress bars do the same: Is there a reason for this? If I was ...
271
votes
24answers
41k views

How can users be prevented from pouring water into the bean compartment of a coffee machine?

Typical coffee machines have two user-accessible compartments: one for water and one for coffee beans. Pouring water into the bean compartment kills most machines, the repairs cost a fortune. Now ...
264
votes
12answers
17k views

What to call “Cancel” when “Cancel” is already the default action?

When attempting to cancel a service or setting, "cancel" is the default action. What should the normal "cancel" button be called? Redbox uses a playful "just kidding", which may not be appropriate in ...
247
votes
15answers
50k views

Why do washing machines have windows?

I'm curious why every front-loaded washing machine I've seen so far comes with a window, while other household machines, like dishwashers, don't. From a design or UI/UX perspective, why would one ...
244
votes
24answers
29k views

Save icon, is the floppy disk icon dead?

This Twitter post sparked me to ask the question: totally! RT @damienguard: Dear UI designers everywhere. Stop using floppy disk icons for save. Too many people have no idea what it is now. ...
238
votes
41answers
71k views

The must-read User Interface Book? [closed]

I'm looking for the Book that explains the essentials of user interface and user experience design. I read Beautiful Visualization and Designing Interfaces from O'Reilly. I think they are very good ...
237
votes
6answers
28k views

Is there a name for this drop-down anti-pattern?

Recently I have seen a small UI issue in mouse-over drop-downs. Here is an example of such a drop-down (although Bloomberg is not the only offender): https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-08-...
234
votes
20answers
96k views

Using “Sign in” vs using “Log in”

Is there any research in this area, it seems "Sign in" is more common and hence more recommended.
233
votes
15answers
50k views

Why do most public toilet doors open inwards?

The design of most public restrooms greatly caters for the ability to wash hands after the use of the toilette, providing facilities like sinks - sometimes with touchless faucets - soap dispensers, ...
211
votes
15answers
48k views

Why do people not notice our enormous, prominent, clear and contrasting purple banner?

I'm part of a MediaWiki site called D&D Wiki. Among others, one of our longstanding issues in the public eye was our failure to label clearly enough that certain pages are categorised 'Homebrew', ...
211
votes
11answers
45k views

Why do users click randomly and rapidly when an application hangs?

This question came to me when I witnessed a collegue's behaviour on an application freezing due to a large operation. And it's something I've certainly done myself. An app freezes for more than a ...
207
votes
23answers
113k views

How To Display Too Much Data

We're building a web-based platform where the main dashboard shows a table of data for users to view and analyze. As we're growing this tool, we seem to be adding more and more columns and are running ...
207
votes
5answers
405k views

Dark or white color theme is better for the eyes? [duplicate]

This is not a programming question, but it concerns the programmer itself. So I don't know if it really belongs on this site. But my question is: what is better for the eyes, a dark color theme or a ...
204
votes
10answers
38k views

Do we “exit”, “quit” or “close” an application?

Do we “exit” an application, do we “quit” an application, do we “close” an application? This is in relation to a desktop app. What is the most meaningful term to use?
197
votes
13answers
34k views

Why do many sites leave half of each webpage empty?

Why do many sites leave half of each webpage empty? Isn't this a waste of screen space? One nice example of this is the Stack Exchange Network sites: As you can see, there is a ton of whitespace ...
196
votes
14answers
50k views

Why does Google still use paging instead of progressive loading?

As a designer I believe "Page system" is less efficient than progressive loading inside a single page. However it is still widely used on many websites including Google’s search results. Maybe there ...
196
votes
10answers
29k views

Should a sentence ending with a URL terminate with a period?

Suppose my web service needs to send a password recovery e-mail message to the user. The message will contain a link (with some disposable token). Something like: To reset your password please ...
190
votes
2answers
45k views

Why do movie posters use credit fonts that are hard to read?

Many contemporary movie posters typeset the credits in an extremely thin font: Is this just out of convention or is there a particular reason for deliberately making the credits hard to read?
182
votes
12answers
26k views

Is there a point to paginating articles online?

Is it better to paginate a long article or show the entire article on one page? The following is a side-by-side of the same article. On the left is page one with navigation and on the right is the ...
180
votes
20answers
25k views

How would you have avoided the Miss Universe 2015 mistake?

In case you missed it, over a week ago Steve Harvey incorrectly announced Miss Colombia as winner of the Miss Universe 2015 pageant. He later apologized and corrected himself; Miss Philippines won. ...
180
votes
13answers
12k views

Language of language names in the language selector?

Imagine a site that's available in multiple languages. The language is detected automatically by looking at the IP or the browser header. But that's not bulletproof, so a few users might end up on a ...
179
votes
13answers
16k views

Why shouldn't we use words such as 'here' and 'this' in textlinks?

Over the years of surfing on the web I have found numerous examples of people saying that you shouldn't use the word "here" in a textlink etc. Personally I like the idea of using the word, because it ...
169
votes
8answers
20k views

At what point does a user lose trust in a Busy Spinner?

The first scenario is an action that could take roughly 2–5 seconds to execute once the user has pressed a button. A Busy Spinner will be displayed in the button until the process has been ...
167
votes
14answers
27k views

Do people really want to look at multiple windows at once?

I'm referring to Jakob Nielsen's alertbox from November 19, 2012. He complains about the lack of windows in Windows 8: Lack of Multiple Windows = Memory Overload for Complex Tasks One of the ...
163
votes
13answers
19k views

Why is this design considered cluttered or overwhelming?

I'm developing a web app for Desktop and Tablet browsers. All of my UX knowledge stems from personal experience and iteration - I've never been formally trained. I took great care in presenting the ...
160
votes
7answers
30k views

Why is the 0 next to 9, not next to 1? [duplicate]

On almost all keyboard layouts I have ever seen, the 0 is to the right of the 9, rather than to the left of the 1 (the original Dvorak layout is the only exception I can think of; it has 0 between 9 ...
160
votes
7answers
35k views

When to use icons vs. icons with text vs. just text links?

Are there any rules on when to use icons vs. icons with text vs. just text links in a web application? For example: vs. save vs. save Extra question: Is save -or- save preferable?
160
votes
17answers
13k views

How to discover what users NEED and not what they WANT?

I have been thinking a lot about my favorite quote from Henry Ford: If I asked people what they wanted, they would have said 'Faster Horses'. -Henry Ford The trouble I have been having is that I ...
158
votes
12answers
27k views

Why do idle elevators close the doors?

If the elevator stops on a floor, opens the doors to let the passengers out, and hasn't received a command to go on another floor, why does it close its doors afterwards? If the elevator is not on my ...
156
votes
10answers
17k views

“Your” vs “My” in user interfaces

Some user interfaces feature titles such as: My documents My photos My previous orders While others opt for: Your documents Your photos Your previous orders Are their any guidelines addressing ...
148
votes
19answers
59k views

What is best practice for designing form error messages?

I've seen quite a lot of research on form design, but so far, I haven't come across any studies on error message design best practices. The only piece of advice seems to be that each error should ...
147
votes
12answers
9k views

How Do I Avoid Users Becoming Numb to Warnings?

I've been thinking about this a lot lately because it's bitten me in the behind a few times. Think of the Windows User Account Control in Windows Vista (and to a lesser extent Windows 7). The idea is ...
147
votes
9answers
41k views

What's the purpose of “This page is intentionally left blank” we see in books?

What's the purpose of "This page is intentionally left blank" we see in books? Why not just leave the page blank and write nothing on it?
145
votes
5answers
11k views

Avoiding the Hermann grid illusion

I'm a UX newbie and I'm trying to design a page of image thumbnails. I came up with this: The trouble is that this layout creates the Hermann Grid illusion. When looking at the grid, most people see ...
144
votes
12answers
25k views

Why is being “on hold” on the telephone not made less annoying?

I am on hold right now while calling my internet provider for a service question, and all I am hearing is some music and a voice saying "please be patient" every 30 seconds or so (for 30 minutes now). ...
141
votes
17answers
14k views

How to encourage honest user behavior in UI

My company creates solutions for waste management facilities. One particular piece of software is used on touch screens at the entrance of a facility. The municipiality runs the facility. We don't ...
140
votes
16answers
36k views

Why should we ask the password twice during registration?

It would be easier to ask for a user's password only once during registration. The problem: The user could make a mistake while typing the password once because of hiding letters. The solution: The ...
139
votes
5answers
18k views

Are you sure you want to answer this question?

We've all seen these types of warnings: "Are you sure you want to shut down Windows?" I hear a lot of people frustratingly reply: "Yes, of course, otherwise I wouldn't have clicked it!" These types ...
138
votes
10answers
25k views

My users keep naming things with special characters to thwart alphabetization

In my application, there's a long list of user-created objects in a master-detail setup. All we show in the master list is the name of the object, and the list is alphabetized. I've noticed that my ...

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