Hot answers tagged

73

What was the right course of action here? Is there a point at which the user's fear of change becomes an important UX consideration in its own right? This is an interesting question - I believe the answer is yes. The core tenet of user centered design is considering the characteristics and needs of your users in your design. If the fear of change so ...


58

People don't generally use hierarchical structures 'in the real world' -- it seems to be something that has been forced upon them, a technical remnant of the past. What needs to be understood is the way that people recognise and organise things. Our brains don't work in a hierarchical way (without generating a lot of heat). Instead, we recognise things by ...


53

Normally the users have a point. It may not be the point they think, but that does not mean there is not a valid issue at the heart of it. The choice of (a) "old way" or (b) "our correct new way" is rather stark. I have re-factored a lot of UI's and occasionally missed a much loved short-cut. I always found a way of blending the better design for learners ...


32

The plus key is very arbitrary and does not map well with the intention of moving up/down. Also it is mostly used to expand the tree node (i.e. windows explorer). I would suggest a different key combination for moving : ctrl + up/down arrow. So the arrow keys are used for navigating, but combined with the control key they move the object. This seems to be ...


26

There are several problems with trees: A tree is a single taxonomy. This requires the user's mental model to match the software developer's mental model of the domain. Navigating with trees requires high-precision mouse accuracy to expand a tree without selecting the branch. This is also very difficult to manage with touch interfaces. Navigating trees ...


19

To my mind, the way we redeveloped it is unambiguously better. That's great, but "Better" does not always equal "Best". You may have thought you had "Best" before you received user feedback. However, the feedback you received should have thrown up red flags in your mind. What was the right course of action here? First, be willing to re-evaluate your ...


18

This is the however If the majority of users have rejected a design, it seems ludicrous for any UX professional to insist on that design because 'they know better what's good for the users'. Quite appropriately, the majority of the replies to your question follow that thinking. I would, however, like to offer an alternative take on this, which goes well deep ...


14

There are a number of options that can ease this, as the onus should not be on the user to feel they have to go and drop it in its original position - assuming they can even remember where that might have been. Undo/Redo One is to provide an undo redo capability. This puts users much more at ease in that they know even if they do drop something somewhere ...


14

Before ignoring the wishes of your users, you must first validate that your new solution is indeed better. The way to do this is to get a number of fresh, non-involved users of the system and test the existing and proposed options with them. When the uninitiated users prefer your new method, you have validated your approach, eliminated assumption and you ...


13

I'll take a different tack from some of the others on this. If users hate it then chances are it made their job harder instead of easier. Drawing an arbitrary line in the sand and saying that 75 items isn't worth doing text filtering seems silly as well. Real users interact constantly with the system you are building, where you only interact with it on ...


10

Perception: A new market for low complexity ("entertainy") applications has developed - explosively. Thus, even with non-diminishing tree use, it diminishes in percentage and plays less of a role in discusison of "modern" UI and UX changes. Alternatives: One feature of a hierarchy - fast locatability - has been largely replaced by instant search. We now ...


9

Joshua Barron's on the right track with his leading answer. I do see some additions to make, but I'm not cool enough yet to add comments. Let's stick with the simple assumption that the new UI is better than the old one. That way, we're just talking about the Developers who are Right, and the Users who are Wrong. The key problem then is how do you ...


9

I'd say the design of a tree menu is much older than 10 years. Windows 3.1 had a tree structure as part of the UI in it's File Manager. Now, the fact that a design is 10 year old is no argument. Rolex is successful at selling watches of which the design is more than 50 years old and I don't hear anyone saying they don't understand user's needs. About ...


8

This is essentially a hierarchical table and is very common in project management and spreadsheet applications. Given the parameters that you have stated, I would absolutely include column headers. The folder level ("and this") number of downloads should be a roll up of the total number of downloads contained within as stated by @benvds. Example download ...


8

Users reaction to change is an interesting topic, look at all the problems major services have when they update - Facebook/Windows 8/etc! Changes becomes a bigger issue where you have expert or repeat use users. They have invested in the process over time and will have developed a relationship with it. Even if the solution is easier from a pure usability ...


8

The list in the drop down is not long enough to justify the text filtering (about 75 items). A very interesting statement. Scrollbars aside, I would test both UI's on yourselves and see how well you perform a searching task with 75 items with or without filters.


8

Consider panels that come out from underneath each other to reflect the hierarchy in dimensions. The top is some major classification that you can still trace back. As you go deeper into the hierarchy previous panels slip off to the left. You can go back up the tree by swiping them back to the right. When you finally hit on an option that has no more ...


8

The Windows TreeView control uses the '+' and '-' keys for expanding/collapsing the currently selected node by one level (it uses '*' for expanding the entire tree below the selected node). I suggest that using '+' or '-' for moving nodes would be confusing to people used to the Windows UI. Oddly, however, I can't find a definitive (i.e. MS) reference to ...


7

When designing for presentation of information, it is important to try and fit the interface as closely to the underlying data structure and the relationships between the different sets of data as possible. In general the aim is to make the relationships as simple as possible, and it might mean also using a combination of data structures if it makes sense to ...


7

Personally I prefer if an expander is (only) visible, when the folder contains children (or triggers lazy loading), thus preventing unnecessary clicks. In a folder-only tree with a separate file-pane, the folder icon could be 'open' for the active folder. In a mixed tree with files and folders, the folder icon could be 'open' for all expanded folders. On ...


7

I suppose using mouse and drag'n'drop is not an option in your application, is it? If only keyboard input is allowed, then it might be tricky if you can't use up/down arrows (which would seem natural). I would say that the use of + and - signs depends on the sorting of the tree - is it sorted in increasing or decreasing order? If it's in increasing order, I ...


7

It's often educational to see how other people do this. I see a few general trends. Up and down arrows on every row. This is horrible and should in my opinion be avoided, since it handles multiple clicks very, very poorly indeed. However, as a drag-drop hint it could work: OneSync (drag-drop hint): ASP Snippets: Sdevireddy (this one shows in an animated ...


6

Something like this could be done , download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups The part on the right could be made darker or blurry if update is really important . Or maybe just leave it there, warning colors like red and other bright colors could be used to grab user's attention . EDIT : " Some changes have been made " can be ...


6

It seems like the different options are more related with each other than that they are unrelated. They all manage "tree operation". In that sense it would make a lot of sense to combine them on just 1 tab. It would take away the need for users to constantly switch between the tabs. The fact that you have plenty of screen real estate left is also an ...


5

The closest I have seen is the Firefox configuration, which effectively uses a dot notation for the hierarchy. Each property is "user set" or "default". "User set" values are bolded to draw attention to them. https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/about-config-editor-firefox


5

Having a checkbox list should meet the requirements. This is a common pattern and should be easy to implement. Clicking on the container expands or collapses the node, while the checkbox is used for selection.


4

An org chart is not about the relationship between people, but rather about the relationship between positions (usually of responsibility) within the organisation. We ase just used to each position being filled by one person, but that is not necessarily the case. Taken from Wikipedia (with my own emphasis): An organizational chart is a diagram that ...


4

There may be other reasons, too. I worked on a system that had a clunky UI, click here, click there, click back here, etc. I asked the systems analyst about it and it turns out there was a very good reason for it. It was designed that way to force the user to look in both places (it was a comparison tool) and then consciously go somewhere else to accept it. ...


4

You may use a symbol for every subsequent instance (see image below). You may use the windows shortcut symbol or any other symbol that is meaningful to users.


4

I think you should allow users to expand empty folders. I'd turn around the question, is there any good reason NOT to allow for that? When I load up folders on my computer, I can still look inside empty folders. Over time users have become most familiar with this behavior. How can users best confirm that the folder is empty without expanding it? If nothing ...


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