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75
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 ...
75
votes
10answers
16k 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 ...
75
votes
13answers
52k views

What is the best way to deal with very complex forms?

I'm trying to give the best experience to users of a very huge system (like a CRM). It has a lot of forms and much of these have a lot of fields. My doubt is about if I should use a single column form ...
75
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 ...
75
votes
10answers
16k 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
10answers
9k 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
12answers
35k views

Is clockwise or counter-clockwise rotated text easier to read?

When rotating text with css, should it be rotated clockwise or counter-clockwise? Is one more readable than the other? Counter Clockwise:     —    ...
74
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 ...
74
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 ...
74
votes
9answers
4k views

How does Gamification change User Behavior?

On Location Based Applications the use of Gamification is essential. As you move along and check in you earn badges and points. Users also find themselves in a leader board, which most certainly ...
74
votes
7answers
14k views

Why does the Caps Lock not toggle upper and lower case for selected text?

In most word processors, you can easily toggle many text styles. For example: Ctrl + B - Will bold or un-bold selected text. Ctrl + U - Will underline or un-underline selected text. Ctrl + I - Will ...
73
votes
12answers
11k views

Fibonacci pagination

Today I stumbled upon this pagination concept and I found it fascinating: Fibonacci-based Pagination Concept. It's actually an old shot but it made me think as I'll need to paginate some content in ...
73
votes
5answers
13k views

Why is it standard for a website logo to navigate to the home page?

Why has it become an industry standard for logos to redirect a user to a website's homepage? Where was this first seen?
72
votes
6answers
20k views

Infinite scroll vs Pagination in E-commerce websites

Infinite scroll has been around for a while now, however I have not seen infinite scroll being implemented on any successful or well known e-commerce sites. Does anyone know of any e-commerce sites ...
72
votes
11answers
4k views

Should people be able to change their usernames?

So, you want to change your username to something new. Should an application allow you to do this? Let's say that you have a unique URL that points to your profile. Let's assume it is human ...
71
votes
6answers
10k views

Confusing checkboxes and radio buttons

I have a problem building a certain UI for a website. I'm going to demonstrate the problem with a simple website for a restaurant chain: Context the website has many users and many restaurants. ...
71
votes
7answers
12k views

Why are calculator screen digits right-aligned?

Is there any logical reason behind digit alignment on a calculator? If yes, can we apply this for visual interfaces of numbers on the web?
71
votes
8answers
26k views

Why do traffic lights have three separate light bulbs instead of having one?

Recently, I checked out a concept design for a traffic light with only one light. Do you know the exact reason for having three lamps in a row, instead of one like in this concept?
71
votes
17answers
36k views

What are some compelling reasons to disallow spaces in usernames?

I'm a developer. Our UX guy is asking us to allow spaces in usernames. The caveat is that they should be allowed anywhere. So entering the username 'JohnDoe' is the same as 'John Doe' is the same as ...
71
votes
4answers
14k views

Is there any research showing whether relative or absolute times are easier for humans to read?

I would like to know about the time format which is used by Facebook - relative times such as "2 hours ago", rather than absolute times such as "13:35". Is there any research about which time format ...
71
votes
9answers
18k views

Does a form with continuous save need a “Save” button?

I am designing a web-app with a lot of forms and i was wondering how to improve the filling. The classical pattern is : fill, fill, fill, Save Have you experimented a form which auto-save each field ...
71
votes
10answers
20k 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 ...
71
votes
13answers
18k views

Best UI to allow expert users to enter an ip address? (IPv4)

I am working on a web application which requires users to enter an IPv4 address (in dotted-quad decimal notation) for most of the primary tasks they need to perform. Our primary target "user" is a ...
70
votes
9answers
11k views

Colorblind: status shapes

I was working on a table, with status icons. I was using colored dots (yellow/red/green color) to transmit the status (success, warning, danger)... Obviously, this is a problematic move if we think ...
70
votes
12answers
9k views

What kind of design do users like the most at the time of this question, 'Flat' or 'Skeuomorphic'? [closed]

I have read multiple articles on-line that say that the era of Skeuomorphic design on the web is over, and that a new era of so-called 'flat design' is now the new thing for developers, but do users ...
70
votes
6answers
125k views

Preferred format to display negative currency (US English)? [closed]

Which would be the more readable way to format negative numbers: -$99.99 ($99.99) Some other format I haven't considered Details: Most of our user base has finance experience, but some have none at ...
70
votes
7answers
20k views

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 ...
70
votes
15answers
147k views

Why are Inverted Colors considered an accessibility feature?

Why is it that, in most operating systems, the "Inverted Colors" display setting is considered an accessibility feature? Both Windows and OS X include this option so it seems to be a ...
69
votes
14answers
8k views

Does visual design really affect UX?

I am really concerned about the effects of visual design on user experience, but as this may seem too broad, let me clarify it a little. My statement is that, if the user can find the information he ...
69
votes
10answers
40k views

Do websites still have to support Internet Explorer 8 and below? [closed]

BACKGROUND I am about to launch my website. It's an academic site with expected user base consisting mainly of academics. It looks good in Chrome, Safari, Firefox and IE10 and above. I just sent a ...
69
votes
5answers
11k views

Should “Deletion successful” confirmation be red, or green?

What color should a deletion confirmation message be? This is related to the question Should 'yes, delete it' be red, or green?, but different because this question asks about a passive confirmation ...
69
votes
10answers
15k views

How to enforce shoes removal in a lobby/house?

I just moved to a new flat, and I've a personal habit of removing my shoes when entering my flat, similar to the custom in some Asian cultures. This is in order to keep the house clean, and feel the ...
69
votes
10answers
12k views

Is it safe to assume everyone uses / has mouse wheels?

Is it safe to assume all users are aware of using the mouse wheel to scroll and that all users have a mouse wheel on their mouse? I'm hoping to implement a scrollbar which stays hidden even when you ...
69
votes
7answers
9k views

Why should text be non-selectable?

I've seen some websites that make their text unselectable. And I believe that this can break up user experience, as "selectable text" is a well established ui pattern on web and computer in general. ...
69
votes
7answers
19k views

Why don't ATMs give you cash before your card?

I live in Australia, so this might not apply worldwide, but here, when withdrawing money, the ATM will give me back my bank card, then several seconds later the cash comes out. This typically leads ...
69
votes
9answers
39k views

Dropdown vs radio button

User have to choose type of food (from 3 or 4 choices) in our application. Default selection is used in 60 - 70% of cases. What will be better: dropdown or radio buttons?
69
votes
4answers
11k views

Are there any guidelines concerning the use of Alt, Ctrl and Shift keys?

I'm designing a complex product to be used in a professional setting, and I'd like to create keyboard shortcuts to the various functions. Are there any guidelines to help me decide when should I use ...
69
votes
8answers
13k views

When should hyperlinks be underlined?

Have you noticed that more and more websites have removed underlines from hyperlinks? For example, the current beta test of Google doesn't have underlines on the search results. Google, along with ...
68
votes
29answers
7k views

Examples of placebos in UI design?

This is purely a curiosity question but one I thought would be a bit interesting. Is anyone aware of placebos in use on popular web sites or applications? Either intentionally or unintentionally? ...
68
votes
2answers
18k views

Why did Windows add a pointer trail feature?

So Windows has had, for a while now, a pointer trail feature under the visibility section. But that's something I don't understand. The pointer trail itself is something I find to be annoying, and I ...
68
votes
22answers
77k views

Alternative reward levels to “Gold, Silver, Bronze”? [closed]

I am looking for an easily identifiable awarding scheme, but without using metals, specifically "Gold, Silver, Bronze". Does such a thing exist?
68
votes
10answers
29k views

Why are monitors only at neck height by default?

Most computer monitors are too low. Almost everybody, at least once in their lives, has put a pack of printing paper, a cardboard box, or something else under their monitors stand to bring it to an ...
68
votes
8answers
73k views

How to tell the user his login credentials are incorrect?

When a user has entered incorrect details into a login form, is it better to tell them: The username or password you have entered is invalid. or The user name you have entered is invalid (for ...
68
votes
14answers
125k views

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 ...
68
votes
8answers
17k views

As a programmer, how do I move into User Experience Design? [closed]

I've been a developer for over 6 years, mainly working in the web context, and generally distributed applications, services, and also front-facing apps. I got into programming originally through ...
68
votes
8answers
18k views

Responsive Web Design - what should happen when the mobile device is rotated?

Currently, the standard behaviour for viewing web pages on a mobile is that: If viewed in portrait the text is smaller because the width of the device is small and the whole page width needs to fit ...
68
votes
9answers
3k views

Handling the death of a user

Are there any common practices for handling the death of a user? How should the claim of a death be verified? How should the deceased user be "visualized" or otherwise indicated on their profile/...
67
votes
7answers
13k views

Should I show the troll that I know he's trolling?

I'm building an online store that has many features and functions. Whenever a user interacts with the site a notification is shown. These notifications should give the user a response to his action ...
67
votes
23answers
17k views

Better term for “user” [closed]

I often have to explain some aspect of an application, and often need to refer to users. I really don't like the term as it is not something with a good connotation (e.g. drug users) to the non-...
67
votes
11answers
15k views

Submit and Reset button, what's the best order?

In a form with a Submit and a Reset button and the end, what's the best order for the user experience ? Submit first ? Or Reset first ?

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