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82
votes
2answers
99k views

What's the difference between a Modal, Popup, Popover and Lightbox?

I've seen many terms used to describe message boxes that notify and alert users or display information such as modal, popup, popover and lightbox. What is the difference between these components? ...
81
votes
13answers
17k views

Should a dropdown list be closed when mouse leaves?

Should a dropdown list be automatically closed when you leave current object and navigate to another, or should it remain opened until you open next dropdown list? Dropdown closed when mouse leaves ...
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 ...
80
votes
10answers
23k views

Which way to turn a knob to increase?

I'm making an app with a skeumorph knob that you can turn clock- and counterclockwise to increase/decrease an amount. But what direction is the correct one? I bet that there is a high degree of ...
80
votes
14answers
18k views

How to make text look *not* clickable

Problem: I am currently building a textbook exchange website as pictured below. During beta testing users kept trying to click the three snippets of text under the logo ("6 books listed," "12 ...
80
votes
12answers
9k views

Should I redirect the user if there's only one search result, or still show the results list?

If a search results in only one item on the search results page, should I save the user’s time by immediately redirecting him/her to the searched item, or let the user see the list before moving on? ...
80
votes
11answers
17k views

How can I best display a blank space character?

A web app I'm writing singles out individual characters found on a traditional keyboard. I have a very limited area in which the character can be displayed (which is basically the width of a W ...
80
votes
8answers
14k views

Are round check boxes confusing or an accepted standard?

I was browsing dribbble.com today and came across a new post by one of the designers that I follow. He had posted a new modal form which was using rounded check boxes. I have never seen these before. ...
80
votes
17answers
48k views

Search Vs. Filter- what is the difference

From the view of the user (not from a technical view)- What are the main differences between searching and filtering data, in order to get specific results? i.e.- in both cases the user is looking ...
80
votes
16answers
15k views

Do you need a search button with a search box?

On websites with a search box, should you add a button they can click on, or will users understand a search box like on this site? The target group is not very technical, such as women aged 40-60.
80
votes
10answers
16k views

“people don’t know what they want until you show it to them”

One of the most successful products ever produced is the iPhone. It’s loved for its excellent User Experience worldwide. It came from an idea by the late Steve Jobs who is among other things famous ...
80
votes
10answers
7k views

What effect would a grayscale color scheme have on UX?

I am thinking of designing a website that will have no color other than black, gray, and white (including links). Will the absence of colors such as blue, green, etc. affect the user experience of ...
80
votes
12answers
20k views

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 ...
79
votes
13answers
15k views

About us: why do websites show the CEO, founders, and employees on this page?

Why would I want a tab for "meet the team"? Why would users even care about the people working there? I just want a working piece of software and thats good...right? Usually it looks something like ...
79
votes
22answers
16k views

Do we need good-looking design for a program internal only to our company?

Do we need to make the user-interface look good (adding images, animations, etc.) for a program internal only to the company? Making the user-interface look good might slow the performance of the ...
79
votes
10answers
71k views

Use up or down arrow to represent “sort ascending” at table header

To represent "sort ascending" (a -> b -> c -> ...) , my first sense told me that, I should use ↓ to represent it. This is because if I lay my data a b c It seems like thing is moving naturally ...
79
votes
10answers
19k views

Why is text justified in newspapers, but not on the web?

As per UX studies, which say you should not justify text on the web. In that case, then why do newspapers justify text? Dyslexic users read newspapers and magazines as well. What is the difference ...
79
votes
6answers
12k views

Should the space between the checkbox and label be clickable?

Take, for example, these two scenarios. Both very similar HTML, but different semantically: Scenario 1: <label for="myCheckbox"> <input type="checkbox" id="myCheckbox" /> My ...
78
votes
12answers
14k views

Are people sick of logins?

If you have a website where users 90% of time only read and view content, but rarely post, like a blog, does it make sense to force a login? If I force the user to login to view some information, ...
77
votes
10answers
145k views

What is the best UI for multi-selecting from a list?

We have a web form and one of the fields is a multi-select list. Our options are: List of checkboxes Listview (select box but allowing multi-select) Both seem to be a bit ugly and unwieldy when the ...
77
votes
13answers
7k views

Why does the email subject appear before the body when composing an email?

Note: I am not talking about reading experience, I am focusing on the experience of composing email. I am very aware of this issue since it happens to me all the time, and I am pretty sure that it ...
77
votes
8answers
24k views

Why don't <button> HTML elements have a CSS cursor pointer by default?

A friend was asking me why <button> HTML elements don't have a CSS cursor pointer by default? It is the default behavior for links, and can be achieved on a button with button { cursor:pointer;...
77
votes
4answers
16k views

Why did Microsoft make Windows 8 hard to Power Off?

I’ve been using Windows 8 for a couple of weeks and am certain the new operating system will work great on tablet (i.e. Microsoft Surface). On PC some say the best tile is the desktop tile, where you ...
77
votes
9answers
21k views

How should you show that an accordion is expanded?

When you have an accordion, you need some way of showing the current state is expanded. There are a number of different ways of handling this, and each is used by a number of respected websites and ...
77
votes
8answers
14k views

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 ...
76
votes
14answers
34k views

Make people understand they can click on a button in a flat design

I'm creating a flat-ish responsive website, which basically is an online résumé. I'm displaying skills (but it could be whatever) in a grid system. Each skill is clickable, to display some ...
76
votes
13answers
28k views

Should a web-based UI rely on the browser back button?

The back button is a great "get out of a flow's dead end" option that browsers provide. Should a UI rely on the back button as the only method to allow a user to get to the previous page or should the ...
76
votes
11answers
66k views

Is there an optimal font size / line height ratio?

When styling text on web pages, both font size and line height can be set. For example, the text of this post will be displayed using a font-size of 14px and a line-height of (about) 18px, set using ...
76
votes
7answers
127k views

What is the best color combination for on screen reading?

I work at an airline as a pilot and I am involved in the "paperless" project which aims to have no more paper in the cockpit - all the data should be accessible from tablet devices. We have a lot to ...
75
votes
18answers
7k views

Should we use a sound/jingle when users arrive on our site or open our app?

What is your opinion on having a sound jingle when starting the website or the app? Imagine hearing the brand name spelled out or sung out just once (5 seconds). The intention would be: evoking ...
75
votes
6answers
8k views

Preventing a user from pasting from the clipboard into a mandatory form field

In my online checkout process I, like many checkouts, have a field for the customer's email address along with a field to confirm the email address. They are both identical text boxes and accept email ...
75
votes
14answers
19k views

Can the “$” symbol be safely considered as universal when making a graphic depicting money?

Want to get a sense of any best practices of using the "$" dollar sign in the context of an image in order to depict a universal idea of money. UPDATE: My task was to create an icon/graphic used in ...
75
votes
11answers
21k views

Should users be allowed to use any special character they want when creating a password?

I came across a number of login configuration settings where there is a list of allowable special characters and was wondering: Does this limitation cater for a specific security or usability need? ...
75
votes
9answers
8k views

Does user care about the details while loading?

I need to load some information on Android devices and showing a progress bar immediately came to my mind. Now here's the problem: The time it takes to get the content ready(download/decode/buffer) ...
75
votes
6answers
6k views

Do American users also confuse the day and the month in dates like 01/02/2013

Almost everywhere outside the United States, when short dates, e.g. 01/02/2013, are shown on computer screens, the user can't be sure whether the first two digits represent the day or the month. Is it ...
75
votes
7answers
17k views

Re-thinking “hover” functionality with touchscreens in mind

Take the following page as an example (possibly in Firefox only): As you hover over each search result, an "+ Add to Firefox" button appears. However, that idea of the button appearing upon hovering ...
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, ...
74
votes
31answers
6k views

Common web app usability gotchas? [closed]

What are some common mistakes regarding usability for web applications?
74
votes
10answers
18k views

Why is sugar not in a shaker?

At most restaurants that I've seen, the middle of the table is set up with: One salt shaker One pepper shaker A small dish of a few sugar packets Why isn't sugar put in a shaker like salt and pepper ...
74
votes
10answers
15k views

Why do editors (such as MS Office apps) have so much redundancy?

I'm thinking of making an editor and how it should differ against other editors. One of those points are promoting the work area over GUI buttons and information fields. Tool bars, menu bars, scroll ...
74
votes
10answers
8k views

Why are progress bars horizontal?

Question sparked by this discussion. Why are progress bars almost always presented as horizontal lines that increase from left to right? Is this the best method of indicating progress (and why)? And ...
74
votes
9answers
7k views

Why should our website be made handicap accessible?

Personally, the answer is "It's the right thing to do." I'm a web developer for a fairly major news-media site. We are U.S-based but have a global audience. When I initially floated this idea, my ...
74
votes
10answers
15k views

Why touch screens?

There is a question on this site on Touchscreens in car consoles which asks on the advantages of touch screens in car consoles. Most answers rather point out why we should not use touch screens in ...
74
votes
2answers
36k views

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 generaly mean that there is "...
73
votes
12answers
12k views

Do signs printed on the road offer a significant advantage for the user over signs on a post?

I was driving earlier today and I came across a stretch of road that didn't have signs for the speed limit but instead had it written on the road like so: Image source It got me thinking that it ...
73
votes
12answers
15k views

When a button contains text and an icon, which should come first?

Assuming I'm optimizing for making it as fast and easy as possible for most users to find the button they need, what's the optimal ordering?
73
votes
5answers
5k views

Why are election results presented by a geographic map instead of a cartogram map?

This morning (in Sweden) I woke up early to watch the 2012 presidential election in United States. I watched different news sources but all of them presented a geographical map of the results instead ...
73
votes
4answers
10k views

Is there a better way than zebra stripes

Currently we are working on a project that includes many datatables. Before deciding to use zebra stripes to make datatables easier to manage, I wanted to ask if you could advise a better solution ...
73
votes
6answers
14k views

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 ...
73
votes
5answers
108k views

What is a “toast notification”?

Microsoft mentions the toast as a visual element in the package manifest for Metro-style apps with the attribute ToastCapable="true". What does this mean?

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