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140
votes
5answers
19k 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 ...
139
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 ...
137
votes
16answers
22k views

Is the folder structure dying?

In our digital world we have previously been forced to know the location of digital content. The obvious one being the local hard drive or a shared file server where sometimes extreme structures have ...
136
votes
14answers
28k views

How big a deal is blocking copy-pasting on a website?

I'm working on a website on which the client wants to disable copy-paste. It's not to do with security or passwords, but that the data on display is valuable if taken en masse (and almost no value if ...
135
votes
15answers
14k views

Who needs an external on/off Wi-Fi button?

It puzzles me that there are Laptops which are shipped with external physical Wi-Fi buttons. I see no real use of it, but it might have a historical explanation?! The only time one notice the external ...
134
votes
16answers
160k views

Why is it impossible to deselect HTML “radio” inputs?

In HTML, there are currently two types of "checkbox" style controls: Checkbox: Allows toggling on/off, multiple values can be selected Radio: Only one value in a group may be selected, does not allow ...
134
votes
7answers
14k views

What's the point of a delayed popup on a webpage?

It seems more and more common, when you enter a page and start reading it shows a popup after ~10 seconds. Personally I just leave the page immediately and look for the content somewhere else. I can't ...
131
votes
14answers
60k views

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 ...
130
votes
11answers
25k views

Why are radio buttons circles?

I understand that they shouldn't be square to avoid confusion with checkboxes and that today they should be circle for consistency, but why were they originally chosen to be circular? I've never seen ...
130
votes
8answers
22k views

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,...
129
votes
19answers
36k views

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 ...
125
votes
18answers
11k views

Why is it important to focus on user needs as opposed to requests?

This question is written with digital product design in mind, but is not exclusively tailored towards digital. It is pretty accepted that in order to design the 'best' solution to a problem, you need ...
125
votes
19answers
88k views

Which way should be “on” for a switch?

Most of us use switches every day in various forms. And although there are sometimes general norms in countries as to which direction is "on", there is variation between countries. So when ...
125
votes
5answers
8k views

Why are vote buttons on Stack Exchange shown when they can't be used?

I've often wondered why Stack Exchange has opted to keep the upvote/downvote buttons available for clicking on question/answers posted by the user. For instance: Even though these buttons have no use ...
123
votes
9answers
10k views

Should you always minimize cognitive load?

The title says it all. I enjoy reading UX questions and answers from Stack Exchange's hot network questions, and I often see people justify their answers by saying it minimizes cognitive load. I ...
123
votes
19answers
12k views

How could one prevent drunk users from using a mobile application?

Consider a mobile application which for some reason needs to prevent drunk users from using it (e.g. to avoid dreaded "drunk dials" or "drunk texts"). How could "sober authentication" be executed from ...
122
votes
10answers
7k views

Is Markdown Friendly Enough for Non-Technical Users?

The Problem I love using Markdown to write questions, answers, posts, comments, etc. That being said, I am a very technical, detail-oriented, programmer type. However, I am working on a CMS of ...
122
votes
6answers
35k views

Why do numpads on keyboards and phones have reversed layouts?

I came across this on the web. It's supposed to be funny, but we all know better :) So, why are the numpad layouts different, and what are the reasons behind each?
121
votes
12answers
7k views

How do you give your user options without overloading them?

I was using WinSCP the other day for transferring files, when I came across this.. umm.. I'll call it a set of options, but it was more like an interview. Oh boy. I just want to move a file. Now I ...
120
votes
16answers
29k views

Is coffee a good excuse for a slow application start-up time?

I was dragged into a meeting with a client to consult on any usability issues as we watched a user performing day-to-day operations with a software application. The first thing that happened was that ...
116
votes
20answers
22k views

Toilet flush buttons

This question has been bugging me ever since I've started learning usability. I am talking about the two buttons for the flush : Full and half container. On one hand, the button shape has to ...
114
votes
10answers
45k views

Splitting credit card number fields into four different inputs

I have previously been using 4 fields for the credit card number, splitting up each set of 4 numbers to make it easier to enter. I am now thinking about having one field, which inserts spaces after ...
114
votes
14answers
18k views

Why do my users 're'select the amount in the cart?

After looking at some heatmaps and recordings I discovered that a lot of my users reselect the amount in their cart. It's already listed as 1, and they reselect it to be 1 again. My target group is ...
114
votes
11answers
19k views

How to “force” users to upgrade their browser?

I couldn't think of a better title for this question, but please don't jump to conclusions - I don't really want to point a gun at my users heads! I have a site that works well with the modern ...
113
votes
15answers
44k views

Why are terminal consoles still used?

As we all know, terminal consoles come from a time where there wasn't any chance of graphical interfaces, so the need for them is more than obvious. With the appearance of graphical interfaces, many ...
113
votes
14answers
15k views

Why don't we auto-save for users instead of having them save manually?

With the advent of Apple moving to auto-saving in its newest release Lion, should everyone start adopting the convention of auto-saving? At first it is definitely awkward and the user can feel like ...
112
votes
13answers
44k views

Why do door knobs still exist?

As far as I know, in US, grip-and-turn style door knobs are still the most popular, as opposed to lever-style handles, which dominate in the rest of the world. Is there some UX advantage to door ...
112
votes
12answers
17k views

Why did the mouse beat the light pen, paddle, and other pointing devices?

I recently watched the mother of all demos from 1968 which did an excellent job of showing how computers can be personal. Something that stood out to me was the mouse. This device has remained ...
111
votes
6answers
15k views

What do the 3 close horizontal bars (not hamburger menu) represent and what is the origin of the design?

For some reason, those 3 horizontal bars centered in this Jabber client application is something I associate with something you can drag down, but I can't remember at all why I associate 3 bars with ...
110
votes
18answers
41k views

CAPTCHA on mobile: what are the alternatives?

From a UX perspective, CAPTCHA's are bad, bad, bad. But let's say we have this as a requirement. And it's for a hybrid app (compiled app, but built upon an HTML5 platform). I'm trying to find out: ...
110
votes
10answers
8k views

Do unique icon contours help people scan?

Many years ago, I ran across a good icon design tutorial. It said that having unique contours to icons help users scan for the item they're looking for. If this is true, why don't iPhone and Android ...
109
votes
3answers
7k views

Psychology behind $0.99 for paid apps, but $1.00 for donation apps?

I've noticed a trend (at least on the Google Play store) of application prices ending in x.99, while 'donation' apps usually end on the dollar. I see the reasoning behind the psychology that makes a ...
108
votes
14answers
541k views

How do you choose a font for extremely limited space, i.e. will fit the most READABLE text in the smallest space?

I often have very limited space when creating reports and dashboards for users. I usually use Arial, or Arial Narrow, but UI isn't my area of expertise, so I want to know, how do you determine an ...
107
votes
17answers
15k views

Is there any reason to send “no-reply” emails?

As a customer of one of service, I just got an invoice for services I ordered and paid. It always surprises me that at end of such mails containing invoice, you will find sentence like this: This ...
104
votes
11answers
21k views

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 ...
103
votes
13answers
26k views

Why do showers have “hot” and “cold” knobs rather than “temperature” and “quantity” knobs?

I do not understand the advantage of the popular "hot" and "cold" controls in showers, as opposed to "temperature" and "quantity" controls. Is it simply because the latter option is harder to ...
102
votes
6answers
21k views

What is the use of Google’s “Google Search” Button?

I'm sure whenever we used to type a keyword in the search bar of Google, the Google changes its search bar UI and the search button become useless in the home page.
102
votes
12answers
16k views

The coding monkey dilemma

This is a quotation from an interview with a practitioner with a technical background and role: Developers are all smart people; they don't enjoy their work if somebody tells them this is what you ...
101
votes
11answers
31k views

Why is backslash called BACK slash when arguably it points forward?

This is a backslash \. If you read the slash from left to right it starts at the top and goes down - hence it is a downslash. If you read the slash from top to bottom it starts on the left - which ...
101
votes
15answers
21k views

Get users to use the download button instead of right-click save

As part of our system, a web application, we have an image viewer. Previously we always displayed the full resolution image but scaled down with CSS to fit the page. For performance reasons we now ...
101
votes
13answers
23k views

What is better: yes / no radio, or simple checkbox?

In a very big form on my company's website, there's this tendency to use Yes / No radio buttons combination. I can think of one argument of not using it, but it is not UX related: we need to ...
101
votes
13answers
15k views

Should passwords expire?

I have a dispute with my partner. He comes from a financial software background but I do not. He recommends that our web app should expire user's passwords after 6 months (and it has to be unique each ...
101
votes
10answers
11k views

'My Account' or 'Your Account'?

I want to put a link to an account page in a toolbar. What person should I use to refer to the user's settings? Should I call it 'My Account' or 'Your Account'? I've seen both is use, and I'm not sure ...
100
votes
8answers
16k views

What reason could Nintendo have had for putting the A and B buttons in a non-alphabetical order?

When Nintendo brought out it's first game system, the NES, it had a controller with four buttons: Select Start A B However, somewhere, a designer, in their infinite wisdom, decided that the A and B ...
99
votes
19answers
20k views

Should we kill the features that users are not using frequently, to improve performance?

According to the heat map that we generated for our app (an ad server), users rarely sort the items in the lists, they usually use the search to find the items they wanted to find. Developers said it ...
99
votes
8answers
14k views

Is “user-select: none” bad UX?

I was having a discussion today with a colleague. I showed her "user-select: none" - a CSS property that stops a user from selecting text. To me, this property allowed a more app-like experience to ...
99
votes
6answers
14k views

Star vs Heart icon to represent save as a favourite

I am working on a mobile app that involves the user saving a favourite location. I wanted to use an icon to represent that feature, but I'm not sure which one is better – a star or a heart icon. Some ...
98
votes
5answers
13k views

Why do dialogs have grey backgrounds?

Most Windows/Mac/Linux dialogs I've seen have grey backgrounds. About-dialogs, settings pages, wizards, confirmation and error dialogs etc. Is there a reason from a usability perspective or is this ...
98
votes
24answers
35k views

What word can be used to mean either click or tap?

Very often we need to speak generically about clicking or tapping an item, but there seems to be a lack of vocabulary in English for this. We could just say "click or tap" every time, but that is ...
98
votes
2answers
34k views

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 ...

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