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507 votes
24 answers

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 ...
181 votes
9 answers

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?
  • 1,965
305 votes
16 answers

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 ...
  • 3,291
403 votes
24 answers

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?
  • 4,433
230 votes
23 answers

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 ...
  • 2,725
150 votes
20 answers

Intuitive interface for Composing Boolean Logic?

I'm interested to know how people have, or would construct an interface which simplifies constructing logical boolean conditions? (Yes, it's a database query builder) In my mind a bad interface has ...
78 votes
6 answers

Don't hide or disable menu items?

In 2008, Joel Spolsky wrote: A long time ago, it became fashionable, even recommended, to disable menu items when they could not be used. Don't do this. Users see the disabled menu item that ...
344 votes
14 answers

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 ...
  • 3,491
264 votes
26 answers

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. ...
  • 4,705
48 votes
4 answers

On forms, is inline placeholder text better than a label outside each field?

I am familiar with research on label placement to the left or above. I tend to go with right justified with the label to the left of the field for my form designs. However, inline placeholder text ...
  • 4,734
110 votes
2 answers

Ideal column width for paragraphs online

There is nothing worse than coming across a website with paragraphs that span the width of your screen resolution. They are usually so hard to read, I don't even bother. A lot of web designers use ...
  • 1,353
109 votes
12 answers

Home button vs Logo link?

Is a "home" button on the navigation required if there is a link to the homepage using the company's logo? Increasingly I have noticed more and more websites using the logo as a link to return to ...
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279 votes
12 answers

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 ...
  • 6,224
89 votes
9 answers

What is this side menu called that can be found in many multi-touch apps, and where does it originate from?

It can be found for example in the YouTube and Facebook app.
  • 1,094
246 votes
41 answers

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 ...
58 votes
7 answers

Is scrolling better than clicking to reveal more content?

Which is faster? Scrolling down or clicking a button to reveal more content? Currently, our site requires clicking of page numbers to reveal more content. We have 9 channels per page, which fits on ...
  • 10.8k
155 votes
16 answers

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 ...
  • 3,872
105 votes
11 answers

How to graphically represent a language

Websites often present language selection to users with flag icons, but I think this is simply wrong. Flags represent countries. There are two reasons for a user to change the display language (or at ...
  • 1,998
66 votes
5 answers

What is the optimum button size of touch screen applications?

There was a not so recent blog post about the ideal button size of touch screen control sizes (sorry there is no link, the website is now a spam trap) that was based on the study form the MIT touch ...
  • 25.9k
17 votes
5 answers

How do you persuade an organization to value UX?

UX is such an underrated field in a lot of industries. I wonder how companies consider employing UX designers and even heavily valuing their suggestions. Some big companies happen to see the light and ...
  • 3,475
187 votes
12 answers

"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 ...
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147 votes
14 answers

What are the negative and positive aspects of dark color scheme?

I am using Light-on-dark color scheme (dark background with light text) in my application. My question is, what are the negative and positive aspects of this color scheme and why this color scheme ...
  • 1,603
95 votes
13 answers

Deletion: Confirm or Undo? Which is the better option and why?

Which one is the better option and why? Delete with Confirmation [The action cannot be undone] or Delete with one click [And provide option to Undo]
  • 1,232
68 votes
14 answers

Common screen resolution?

I'm developing a web application which is quite information heavy. This means that every pixel available in the screen for display helps a lot, to avoid the UI looking too cluttered and to display ...
55 votes
15 answers

What are the differences between buttons and links?

What are the differences between buttons and links?
user avatar
156 votes
19 answers

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 ...
69 votes
9 answers

Regular pagination vs. infinite scroll

I'm currently making a dating site, my choice for pagination is between the traditional: [<< Prev] [1] [2] [3] [Next >>] vs [ Load More ] The 2nd is the "load more" bar or button that ...
  • 693
46 votes
8 answers

Checkbox vs toggle

There's a constant debate on checkbox vs toggle. Personally, as an iPhone and Mac owner, I'm still very confused every time when I see the toggle. I often ask ask myself, "The 'on' is on the left, ...
  • 635
32 votes
14 answers

Should we restrict signup for a service to Facebook accounts only?

There are obvious advantages to limiting sign-ups to a service like Facebook connect - getting a name, age, avatar, etc. without the annoyance to your customers of asking them to fill it all in. We ...
  • 67.8k
195 votes
13 answers

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 ...
192 votes
13 answers

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 ...
  • 8,686
134 votes
8 answers

Why might right aligned field labels be better?

For the longest time, I've used left-aligned labels in my forms, like this: I did this because I thought having the labels left aligned made it easier for readers to scan the list of labels. However,...
  • 8,281
87 votes
3 answers

What is the significance of the three dots "..." on menus and buttons and how to use them right?

Adding three dots after the title of items in a dropdown menu seems to be a common practice (as you can see on the picture of a drop down menu in Google Chrome). They generally mean that there is ...
85 votes
12 answers

How do rounded corners affect usability?

How do rounded corners on buttons and containers affect usability? Do they make buttons look more clickable? When used on other non-button elements, do they make the site look more friendly? I'm ...
  • 10.8k
65 votes
10 answers

Is a cancel button necessary in a web form?

Personally I have never used it. I don't put information in a form and then decide everything needs to be cleared. I would edit one field. Plus cancel in a UI suggests canceling an action which is in ...
56 votes
10 answers

How to visualize the possibility of drag'n'drop?

My web application contains a list of elements, which can be sorted by drag'n'drop. How should this feature be visually represented to users?
  • 932
47 votes
12 answers

What's the best way to highlight a Required field on a web form before submission?

This seems subjective, and it is; a client of mine would like me to highlight the required fields on the web forms in their application with a red asterisk, and I'm looking for an alternative since ...
  • 1,961
35 votes
3 answers

Modals on top of modals

Using bootstrap modals, I keep running into the issue of having an info modal with content inside of it, but there's a need to have a "confirm your decision" modal/popup on top of the initial modal. ...
35 votes
7 answers

Opening website external links in new window -- published usability tests

In usability discussions about opening website external links in new windows, with regard to the argument of "keeping users on the site" there are occasionally references to usability studies which ...
  • 451
34 votes
26 answers

Which prototyping tools? [closed]

This links heavily into the following question: What are some great web-based prototyping tools? However I didn't want to limit the suggestions to "Web Based" tools, I have found and used the ...
808 votes
17 answers

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 ...
  • 5,219
534 votes
16 answers

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 ...
  • 4,561
494 votes
23 answers

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 ...
  • 5,777
318 votes
23 answers

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.
  • 3,289
89 votes
12 answers

Merging firstname/last name into one field

I am entertaining the notion of a single field for name entry on our scheduling web app. I think this is an excellent case for a "forgiving format" to make it easy to enter their names quickly. I ...
  • 4,734
81 votes
8 answers

What's the best way to view a deep hierarchy?

I've been pondering the best way to show a deep hierarchy for a desktop application I'm working on. Here are some alternative designs I'm considering... Mac OSX Finder: If you understand what you're ...
  • 1,832
74 votes
8 answers

Should we use 'Title Case' or 'Sentence case' for headlines and buttons?

I am wondering if we should use Title Case or Sentence case for buttons and headings in websites and web/mobile apps? Title Case: Manage my Account Delete my Account Sentence case: Manage my account ...
  • 8,686
59 votes
11 answers

Submit Buttons on the Left or the Right?

We have been puzzling over where to put the submit button, on the left or the right. In researching, we noticed that many sites put buttons on the bottom right in dialogue boxes, and on the bottom ...
  • 9,257
52 votes
5 answers

Breadcrumbs: OK to use on mobile site?

Wondering if anyone has thoughts on using breadcrumbs as a method of navigation on a mobile website (for a content site). The breadcrumbs would show the heirarchy of the site as such: Site > ...
  • 755
40 votes
9 answers

Best way to select a subset of items in a long list

One of our clients wants us to build a web application to share information about the magazines he publishes. Each edition of a magazine contains a variable amount of advertisers. These advertisers ...

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