Hot answers tagged

103

Sudden rearrangement of content is disturbing Dynamically updating data while user is looking at it may (depending on type of data) be disturbing to the user workflow - for example, if you're reading a sentence and it changes while you're doing it, it's unwanted. The same applies for any content changes that will re-flow or reorder other content. Appending ...


82

I've seen this occasionally in usability tests. When I ask it's usually because they have filled in many paper forms where there is a request to 'fill out in block capitals' or similar — so they think that is the default for all forms. With solicitors I imagine there may be similar issues where court forms have to be filled out in specific formats. Have ...


74

You could use a single bar, partitioned into four sections, labelled (or possibly coloured, as I've used in my example image) accordingly. The area where each partition meets would be resize handles, and resizing would accordingly expand and shrink the adjacent partitions, while the entire bar is capped at 100%. With a legend showing the exact percentages ...


66

Users enter information in upper case either intentionally, or unintentionally (e.g. they happen to have CAPSLOCK activated). Several other answers mention a variety of reasons for why the user may be doing so intentionally. If it is unintentional, then the user probably wants to know about it, and correct it. As others have mentioned, designing an ...


56

This is an absolute 'No no' in creating charts. This is a very bad way of representing data, to make it look like Donut chart but non-functional. It doesn't matter if the thickness is proportional to the value, that is a secondary dimension. The primary dimension must be proportional to the primary value. Having a regular Donut chart is adequate for this ...


51

Well, you can write the predicted year of death based on user research, or you can say "TBD" :). And more seriously - it would be a good idea to develop two templates for this item, one for dead presidents and another one for those who are still alive. The "alive" one shouldn't contain the "Died" field at all. The downside to this is that it may not be self-...


50

tl;dr: Some of the invoices are not eligible for payment. They were excluded from payment processing. [details] Error messages should separate two things: Information for the end user (What they can do to "fix things") Diagnostics for support and for the developers Of course the developer is happy because they see what they want. But it's not helpful ...


35

The trick is to not look at it as data or key-value pairs, but how the user would review it. For each data point evaluate what it means for the user.. e.g. Acreage .046 - does that mean anything to the user ? How much is .046 acres.. they care about the size of the lot. For smaller lots you might want to user different units. Then you have square footage ...


34

I wouldn’t call this a “chart”, but rather numbers with decorations. The numbers don’t add up to the total, and the pie sizes are decorative rather than informational. Sizes don’t make sense either. Using this will create more confusion than answers. The most approximate chart to the provided images is a Donut Chart. Refer to this link about how to use ...


32

Is it necessary to use sliders? Note that a slider is a good choice when you know that users think of the value as a relative quantity, not a numeric value. For example, volume or brightness control. If the user has to determine value, you can also give a simple value entry interface along with a "Remaining Value" indicator. Somewhat like this: download ...


30

what data does the user actually need to see? If only we could get a straight answer to that. Instead of "it depends". I keep on running into this problem, and every time I Google I end up back here at Jason's excellent question. And there are many excellent answers, but I smell a meta-topic that we all seem to skirt around yet I think is worth unpacking. ...


26

It depends. It depends mainly on how users will be locating the data they are interested in. Numerical Stats in a Row If the page is repeating the same stats groupings in the same order, then positional memory will be used, and the numbers themselves also cue the reader in to positioning - Best bowling 5/45 has a different form to Economy Rate 1.51 and ...


22

There is also possibility using four sliders to normalize the results, that is, if they sum up to x%, multiply each value with 100/x. Then you wouldn't have to worry the user with constraints while retaining the proportions desired by the user.


21

Topologically, it looks the same as a Spider chart with 4 variables, but each variable is displayed as a quarter-circle instead of a point.


19

This is because early Teletype and computer systems had no provision for lower case. Mixed case Teletypes came on the market in the 1930's, but the standard US military Teletype of World War II only printed in upper case. The idea that official communications and reports should be in all caps worked its way deep into the culture. Up through the 1970's ...


18

Make the user's job easy Ask yourself if it's the system or the user that's concerned with 1% accuracy. Does the user really want to think about the distributed percentages, or just the priority of each point? Ask for simple relative values If a high level of precision is purely the domain of the system, consider asking your users how much they care about ...


17

A dropdown with 450+ values is extremely unusable on any device, including desktop. But you say that you're only looking for a solution for the basic mobile version, so let's stick to that. Probably the best way to simplify this for the mobile is to have a first screen/popup display the alphabet, then as you tap a letter you drill down to the list of ...


17

Additionally, it's less data intensive, and if you're designing with a mobile first philosophy, that's got to be a consideration. You're going to need to consider that the screen size is constrained to smaller dimensions than a desktop machine, which means that even smaller changes are more likely to move what the user is looking at off screen. Many (...


17

That looks like a form of polar area diagram. Also known as a ‘rose diagram’, this is almost 200 years old, and was popularised by Florence Nightingale to highlight death rates in different months: It uses equal angles, with the radius indicating the magnitude.  (Though that means the area isn't proportional.  Alternatively, you could use area to indicate ...


15

Considering your content is like most where the user will be reading the data more often. For example consider where your eyes go first: - Bowling Pins: 32 and now the opposite: - Bowling Pins: 32 - They user will come to the page for the first time and: See the bold data, than look at what they represent. The user will return to look up the data ...


15

Definitely 8+. I've met college graduates who still get the less than and greater than signs mixed up.


14

The problem with tabs within tabs is mostly visual, not logical. The situation you describe has three navigation levels - that's not that uncommon. If you make the different navigation levels look different from one another, you'll find that the perceived complexity is reduced. download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups


14

I guess one can always find special cases, but in the general case, I would go with rounding the correct sum, not summing the rounded numbers. The point of rounding is to make a number easier to digest at a glance. And while we are aware that there is a tradeoff due to lost accuracy, we want to keep the accuracy loss as small as possible. If you were to ...


14

From Wikipedia: In statistics, a histogram is a graphical representation of the distribution of data. It is an estimate of the probability distribution of a continuous variable. The emphasis is on continuous variable, as opposed to discrete variable. The histogram In the top histogram you've presented, the X axis is time, which is continuous in this ...


14

[Flippant] End users are strange creatures, period. There's no accounting for what makes sense to them and what they'll do (even with explicit instructions). [/flippant] A good rule of thumb is to never trust that the data entered by end users is reliable and accurate, even if you give them explicit instructions and train them on how to correctly use the ...


14

I used to work for a company which paid for a behemoth third party software. So on a typical work day, Peggy would enter a client name and save it to the database, hunky-dory. On the following work day, Donna would need to search for this client and do further processing. Cool, so Donna would use the search box and not find the client. Hmm, better call ...


13

You pretty much want to go for one or the other extreme, where the extremes are: Explicit Save for Everything. Everything needs saving through an explicit command. Autosave Everything. Everything is saved automatically and instantly. You want the user to have as simple a mental model of the system’s behavior as possible. You don’t want to burden the ...


12

Depending on the nature of data, you can use Tufte's Sparklines. This approach combines text, color and small graphics. Google Analytics makes use of this approach in their control panel:


12

Possibly neither, they each have different meanings: >8 = greater than 8 8+ = greater than or equal to 8


12

Unless you have auto complete, a list with 450+ options is never very user friendly, and always hard to use, especially when you even allow multiple selections. Given that the task to add books to the library is a very common one, that should be done fast, I would propose a more simpler backend-powered solution using two simple steps: First the user is ...


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