182

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 ...


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 ...


43

Both the icons convey a different meaning; even if they tell a user that there are additional options underneath. A gear icon is derived from a traditional mechanical sense of gears and cogs defining a operation or a physical constraint. You can find additional details from the following answer: Why is the settings icon either associated with gears or a ...


36

Traditionally the operation of a mechanical tool was determined by the physical constraint of the position/type/size of the gears used. So if you wanted to change a tool setting, you would have to manually make an alteration to the gear(s). Many machines worked this way, even ones you would not think of, such as printing presses, folding machines, etc. ...


27

I believe you are referencing a Navigation Drawer.


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

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20

Many might think that the complementary email might be useless, but this is actually a security message. What if someone left their account logged in, and someone changed the password for them? The ACTUAL owner of the profile should be notified that it was changed. It has become a standard to make sure that users are aware of what information has been ...


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 ...


17

Setting is singular, so use it if you only have one thing to set. Settings is plural, so use it when you have multiple things to set. This is likely to be the case most of the time, so when in doubt, use 'Settings'


16

Wifi takes power. If you have limited battery life, being able to physically power-down the wifi card might buy you back a little power. Otherwise, the OS might continually poll the airwaves looking for a signal and draining the battery a little faster.


14

I think the concept of a locked slider that is not disabled is not something you need to put into practice, and you should just not show the slider in the first place. The clue to that is that you are asking Visually, what is the best way to show that a slider is locked? This is not your ultimate goal behind this - you have a bigger problem for which this ...


13

I'm not sure you should rely on a copy change alone (or even if it worked, it may not be worth the added confusion - see @joe larson's answer). You might try instead calling out an explicit warning: download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups


13

If the slider is locked then don't show the slider at all--only show the element if the user can interact with it. Instead, just show a progress bar with the value: download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups Since the value is not editable, then your requirement is to inform the user what the value of the object is. The ...


12

I believe the gear icon symbolizes opening something up to look at its "guts" to see how it operates on that inner level. Changing the direction of a single cog causes changes the motion of the next gear, and so on, meaning this is where you can make changes to how the system will work. Since a tool is a device used to carry out a particular function, the ...


12

Make the decision for them. Think from the user's perspective, not from the system's. Yes, you have 108 scales, and you could turn them all on and off individually, but apart from making the screen too complex, what user has such specific knowledge of their own needs? What pianist can really decide for each of a 108 scales whether they want to practice them ...


12

All the product owners I have interacted with have called this either a fly-out nav or, less formally, a hamburger menu. Although w3 considers fly-outs to be more akin to header drop-down menus: W3 Fly-out Menus It's usually punctuated with the hamburger looking menu icon and supports slide gestures when available as you described. Consider this gallery ...


11

Anyone who needs to work in an area where you're not allowed to transmit/receive RF needs one. Part of the building where I work has those restrictions. Phones/tablets aren't allowed inside that part of the building because (among other unrelated reasons) there's no way to visually check if if the radios are disabled while the devices are powered off/in ...


11

There are several complementary approaches... ...to reducing complexity. Effective design often relies on an appropriate mix of multiple approaches tailored to your user base. For example, Eclipse users (in another answer here) tend to be professional/expert users who understand how to navigate complexity and may want a lot of control. Google Chrome ...


8

This is the kind of feedback that is the easiest to elicit from users - details on color choice or extra features. I think the "intention" part is the important one. The problem the users are trying to solve using your application. So if you have any way of contacting the users who has given you feedback - or even just a radom selection of any of your users,...


8

I would suggest not to use asterisk since it is used to mark required fields. Instead let's compare several possible solutions: (3),(4) are the most noticeable, but (4) seems to be more natural and easy to understand. Color Red and green are used for validation. Blue is the only one neutral left. Forgot to mention combined approach can be used to produce ...


7

My intuition says that showing the padlock icon on the slider handle is a bad idea. This is ambivalent and could also try to communicate, that the slider is locked in that particular value (as opposed to the sliding mechanism being locked). If you want to display a padlock icon, maybe do so left or right of the slider. The common standard for disabled ...


7

Place a semitransparent box over the slider, with a diagonal label "Premium feature" across it. This design can also be applied to an other control.


7

For me it has worked several times to re-initiate Wifi. Remember that most laptops use third party components, have dozens of configurations, which create dependencies. The status bar icon sometimes is not reliable, as it depends on the actual system state if it will work or not. Hardware switches turn off the device power, so it is way better for resetting. ...


7

There's a few discussions on it already around the web. They are very similar. 'Preferences' usually control the settings of your personal favorites -- things of little consequence -- like color of font, type size, background photo... -- usually personal prefences. The tern 'settings' is much broader and can impact system issues -- ram size, ...


7

As a matter of fact I'm quite sure that between the wrench and the kebab icon there was a hamburger. Either way, the most likely reason for the icon is consistency . This kebab menu icon is the same they're using in Material Design, so they're basically following their own guidelines, see Menus section in MD A menu is a temporary piece of material that ...


7

I'd try hard to add subheaders. Yes, these are all "Notifications", but they are notifications regarding different events. For example, something like the following may work better (obviously make your own decisions on what logical groupings make the most sense for your scenario/audience). Additionally, note the last two options. I personally thought it ...


6

I wouldn't store in the localstorage. Localstorage is mainly for cache only. Store on the server, bind the data to the username. You can loose localstorage data when reinstalling computer, upgrading browser or working from home. Use it only for browser-specific settings, if any. Most people expect user-name authenticated webapps to magically work from ...


6

Would it be an option to go for a third alternative? Either you use the physical switches for all settings, or you use the computer for all settings. There is no in-between, the computer sets all settings when it is used. If modifying the hardware to indicate the override is not possible, then I think the least confusing way is to have the software ...


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