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Besides the arguments others have listed (Aircraft requirements, power saving) we should not forget about security. Before the tablet and smartphone era you had a great control over your computer in an emergency: if you pulled the UTP cable, you could guarantee that the computer is isolated from the network. If you pulled the power cord, you could guarantee ...


169

Security A hardware radio switch has security benefits to it in that when it is off, you know for a fact that nothing is connected to your laptop wirelessly. The radio switch usually turns off all wireless communication, including Bluetooth and 3G. I have heard that this is a requirement in certain military environments, but I have not seen any evidence ...


109

You are totally right As with many other devices (eg the QWERTY keyboard) the hot/cold tap persists not because it's the most usable design, but because of: Cost since proper temperature control requires an electromechanical feedback loop design, or calibrated thermostatic valves which needs to be periodically adjusted or replaced. This drives up the cost ...


83

Excellent answers so far. I would attempt to connect the dots between recording and red button like this: Apart from the traditional warning usage, a red light has been used in many scenarios to represent on-going work - radio show room when on air, operation theater when operation is going on, etc. The reason behind that would be the same - it is highly ...


53

Airplanes These switches allow you to disable wireless transmitters without first turning them on in the middle of a flight, when their use may be prohibited. There seems to be some consternation regarding this answer. I have reworded it to address some of the concerns that have been voiced. In addition... I'm not saying that any rules regarding the use ...


38

In an actual plane, the steering column isn't really pulled up or down. Instead the pilot pushes the steering wheel or joystick away to dive, and pulls it towards him to pull up. Same goes for games which you control with a joystick. You push it away to go forward, and back to go backward. This forward and backward motion is most probably why inverted ...


36

We use a simple, single text field with an example instruction, just like Bennett suggests. Date of birth |________| (example: 31/5/1970) However, we also add another element onto the page, which we call a Field Reflection pattern. The form takes whatever they entered into the field, and then dynamically parses and interprets it, and reflects the ...


36

The Microsoft Office suite appears to have put a greater emphasis on Add-Ins. For default installations, none are included hence the splash screen only stays up for a very short time. However, for Office power users, they may have many Add-Ins (especially enterprise users who develop their own custom AddIns) which will significantly slow the startup time ...


34

The symbol on each button was created with references to sheet music and inventor's background. For example, the || in pause may come from the Japanese character リ and/or Caesura. The media control UI were first introduced by Swedish Engineer Philip Olsson while he was working in Japan. He also had a degree from Swedish design school. The glyphs were ...


33

I suppose it's mostly a question of how much money you want to invest into your fittings. In most cases you'll have one pipe for hot and one for cold water. The knobs then just open and close those pipes – I can hardly think of any easier / cheaper solution. However there are actually different solutions that do exactly what you describe: Visiting Canada ...


25

What kind of “hundreds of options” is it? If the field is something like “Country”, where the user will know what their answer should be without needing to read all the options, then a drop-down list is ideal: it’s simple to use, it takes little page-space, and is easy to display and to select from on most devices. If the field is something like “Airport”, ...


25

Very few isometric games have a keyboard control scheme. The few I remember playing that used the arrow keys to move treated a single key as an orthogonal direction. To get diagonal movement you needed to press two keys like down and right. Some even mapped all 8 surrounding squares to the numbers on the keypad (except 5) so you had a full range of motion. (...


24

Some possible explanations: Electrical components, containing high power circuits like a switch, have harder safety requirements in a bathroom, where there is access to water and the risk of injury from an electrical shock or a discharge is higher, than on the outside. Compare for example the low power sockets intended for a shaver that you can find in ...


24

In Emergency Situations Sometimes you need to turn off your internet connection as fast as possible. For example, you download a software, then double click on it, and then you realize that it is not the genuine .exe file but it is a malicious file. In this situation, you may want to turn of your connection as fast as possible, and it may take a very long ...


22

I believe this design was invented by McCrickard and Catrambone of the Georgia Institute of Technology: McCrickard DS & Catrambone R (1999). Beyond the scrollbar: An evolution and evaluation of alternative navigation techniques. Proceedings of the 1999 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages, p270-277. It seems very similar ideas were independently ...


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The way that you have it now breaks the way that we expect numbers to work. 90 days is greater than 10 days, so the 90 days option is on the right. Never is the equivalent of infinity days, and so it should be the last option on the right. The far left option on the slider would correspond to never keeping them in the first place - assuming you want that ...


22

I like JohnGB's answer. It's less fiddly and more visible than the slider. For the sake of offering an alternative, if you do want to retain the slider, I would consider taking the 'never' option out. It doesn't really fit within the concept of a fixed range that the slider implies. In this version, you would only show the duration slider if "Delete ...


22

The interfaces may look very similar to you, but they are constantly evolving, and have been refined for many years. Firefox in particular is very open about their UX process, and how they rely on user telemetry to understand how people use their browser. They don't simply copy features. They try to understand their users. In the early days, browsers could ...


20

An isometric view of a game doesn't have to be presented as a symmetric view. For example PacMania is pacman with a pseudo-3D isometric view, but still lets you use the left-right, up-down keys without ambiguity in their direction.


19

Grey it out when you want the person to know that the control exists, but that it is disabled. Hide it (make it completely invisible) when it doesn't matter whether they know that it is there or not. In general I would opt to grey out controls rather than hide them, because someone could remember seeing a control somewhere that then not be able to find it ...


19

I can honestly say I have never seen a shower that has separate hot/cold knobs like you describe, and I've lived everywhere up and down both the east and west US coast. Every shower I've ever seen has two concentric wheels. The inner one controls temperature while the outer one controls pressure. Here's what they look like (although the labels around the ...


18

There are a few problems with 'sentence' radio selections: When three or more radios are displayed, it becomes difficult to immediately pick out pairs of buttons and labels. This is a problem with checkboxes, too. Users read in F-shaped patterns, top to bottom, and find it harder to resolve multiple items in a row. Creating a readable sentence won't be ...


17

as creator of Bootstrap, perhaps I can shed some light on this :). Prepended and appended inputs serve two purposes: Allowing for simple punctuation or units to be paired with an input. For example, if you need to indicate a field is asking for money, use the prepend with a $ sign. Other examples include @ with a username (a la Twitter.com's settings pages) ...


17

Sure, here is Microsoft's gallery: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/dn688966.aspx


17

If you use the slider, stick with it as the sole means of control. Extra controls add too much "tool time" in making the decision and may be confusing. The solution I propose is to simply reverse the fine concept you have. Make "Never" at the END of the slider and 1 as the lowest value on the slider. Set the slider to the default setting or a previously ...


17

It depends an awful lot on how you expect the application to be used. If all your users are power-users (like Photoshop in @edgarator's answer) then you typically want to grey out rather than hide - you want your users to know that the feature is there, and they're going to be using your app for a while. However if your users are less technical or (more ...


17

A couple reasons that I use my Wi-Fi switch that other people haven't mentioned: When I'm in a LAN party, I want to force my computer to use the Ethernet cable networking me with other players to get the most out of my network and prevent some random app from interrupting play. I don't trust public networks, so when I'm not in a Wi-Fi zone I trust, I turn ...


16

Your question assumes that a) date pickers (they aren't called spinners) aren't appropriate everywhere, b) date pickers can't be modified, and c) the design guidelines must be followed to the tee. Thus, I think the proper answer would be a review of SDK manuals & UX guidelines not in any kind of research. First of all, guidelines are called that way ...


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