Podcast #128: We chat with Kent C Dodds about why he loves React and discuss what life was like in the dark days before Git. Listen now.

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160

The Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical Publications is quoted by Business Writing as suggesting: Restructure the sentence so that the address is not at the end of the sentence. Set off the address, like this, with no period (full stop): Please visit my website at: www.syntaxtraining.com However the same site also ...


63

Given the two options, I would go for the second... However! What I would consider to be the best option is a third alternative. Something that combines information and instructions: https://www.example.com/europe/sweden/ostergotland/linkoping/ This format gives the user a hint of what to write and expect. It's easy to understand that example.com/europe/ ...


62

Do long domain names really effect user experience? Yes, in several ways: Memory Recall Long domains are difficult to remember. A shorter one tends to be more memorable. The mind can only recall 4 things at once in its working memory. Even then, the words need to make sense (and not keyboard mash). Source: http://www.livescience.com/2493-mind-limit-4....


50

It is not only a problem with copy/paste. If Thunderbird (among others) receives a plain text message with an URL, it will transform it to a clickable URL, including the end period, as it is valid in an URL. A number of other punctuation characters are also legal, so care must be used. Tradition in such plain text messages is to surround the URL with < ...


42

Let them change their name. A woman getting married takes the last name of her husband (sometimes), and not allowing her to change her name at a website could translate into a poor experience for her. I'm a big fan of option #1. I had to go look up my ID# here at the UX website to find I'm #5737. Out of sight, out of mind, in a good way. I don't know ...


37

While longer than desirable, 27 characters (including .com) is not overly excessive, but yes, long domain names do affect user experience. Some more than others. 'Power users' know how to avoid typing the address if possible. However, there are going to be some users who don't have a browser with a suggestive omnibox there are going to be users who hunt ...


26

Since you want to indicate function in your URL:s, the best way would be to actually type out that function in the URL. My suggestion: User: dummy.com/user/johndoe Business: dummy.com/business/acmecorporation Edit: adding an excellent point made by 10MAY in another answer in this thread, regarding why you shouldn't use sub-domains: Also, sub-...


24

I don't have much in the way of hard data to back this up, but a number of sites which host user-generated links (eg. news aggregators, Wikipedia) specifically ban shortened URLs for trust reasons. Joshua Schachter (creator of Delicious) wrote a blog post explaining some of the issues with them.


19

First, .co is a TLD intended for websites hosted in Colombia. Second, users are habituated to .com. The missing m is perturbing, and many people will forget about the fact that instead of accessing a company website, they must go to a website with a Colombia-type name. This being said, some well known companies, including Google or Twitter, reserved .co ...


18

In this specific example, the period is not really necessary. What follows the full colon need not always be a word/ phrase or some linguistic construct. It could even be an icon/ image etc. In general though, it is always preferable to place the link either inside the sentence or behind a part of text. Please follow the link http://example.com/...


18

Firstly this is really just an extension of an inherent problem with links in the first place, which is that the target doesn't need to have anything to do with the link text - even if the link text looks perfectly adequate. In fact I would suggest that a well written text link is even more likely to engage and fool the user than a shortened link which might ...


18

This article might be of interest to you from the site usability.gov which states that using the prefix www. would be a good visual indicator that its a website for users. To quote the article Use the full domain name with the "www," however, on all publicity because it clearly identifies the name as a Web site. We found that without including "www" ...


17

Yes, there are a few considerations for domain names: Is the name memorable? Could your domain name be confused with another address, such as goggle.com vs. google.com? Is the name easy to relay? Can you tell another person the name by saying something like "penny-dash-arcade-dot-com"? Is the name accurate to your brand? If your site is "Cheap Pens Now", ...


15

I just thought of an option 3, which comes in a few parts. I'm probably being excessively verbose, but I want to make sure I've covered every case :) Only allow name changes every so often (three months should be fine to accommodate real name changes like the Jane Smith/Jane Doe examples above). Maintain a columns in the database of the past, say... four ...


15

A solution to this some services have used is to have a separate username and display name. Your user name is your portal to the site; what you login as, what your URL is based on (usually), and sometimes how people find you. Twitter is probably the most relevant solution, as they have good SEO but they do have a display name you can change. You can't ...


15

There are multiple benefits for the user when you have "smart url" that is descriptive and semantic. Another good reference; https://www.nngroup.com/articles/url-as-ui/ Based on article, IMO these are valid arguments for having proper URL; a domain name that is easy to remember and easy to spell easy-to-type URLs URLs that visualize the site ...


14

Go with the hyphenated option. It will be easier to read for the user and if you have longer names, make it easier to recall too. eg: look at the URL for this question: questions/41595/what-is-the-casing-convention-for-url-routes Also, avoid capitalization if possible, just to remain consistent. eg: Was the S capital or was the D capital?


14

No. People place the most amount of trust primarily in .com, .org, and .gov and secondarily in .net. All other TLDs are subject to additional scrutiny by your users. In addition if I just know your domain, but not the TLD you are using. I'm going to guess, and I'm willing to bet most of your users will guess ".com". .com should always be the primary ...


12

You might find Grammar Girl's advice helpful: ... unless you can control exactly how the address will be rendered, it's best to leave off the terminal punctuation or rewrite the sentence so the URL doesn't come at the end. I terminate a sentence with a period if I am writing for print. However, for online documentation, I would rephrase the sentence.


12

Use the fully typed words Don't drop the first letter off the second word just because it happens to match. Dropping the first letter of the second word implies a new one word trademark. DirecTV People usually type out the full words of things they are searching for as evidenced by this image which was captured from the DirecTV homepage... As a window ...


11

I guess it was in the late '90s that I learned that the "right" way to send a URL via e-mail (or on Usenet) is preceding text <URL:http://www.example.com>. I can't seem to find that reference now (does anyone know?) and I don't know whether that practice is still considered "right", or by whom. I either do that, recast the sentence so the URL is not ...


11

There are various reasons for this, amongst them: Bookmarks - I love the ability to drag and drop the browser address icon to my desktop to mark an important email. History - Looking through your history can be the quickest way to find an email you read half an hour ago. You need an encoded url to achieve this. App versioning - when rolling out a new ...


11

A quite common pattern for showing all of something is to extend the category with a filter, which in your case would be something like: http://mydomain.com/factories/all That way you can use the filter in your URL to select factories in let's say Europe: http://mydomain.com/factories/europe And moving down the list to a single factory, such as: http://...


10

It's an extremely contentious issue whether "user" is a bad word or not. If you want to maintain any clarity I would strongly advise against calling all people in all situations 'people.' You can't get any less specific and unhelpful than that. As long as there is a distinction between people that user or have access to your service and people in general (...


10

One thing to remember is the concept of people being able to recall about 7 items (established by George Armitage Miller's work on memory) in their short-term memory. If your name consisted of words like: big, dull, hello, car, house; each of these is ONE item because they connect to something already existing in their mental schema/mind. If it is ...


10

Jabob Nielsen in his article URL as UI from 1999 highlights the importance of human-friendly and hackable URLs. Updates from 2005 and 2007 mentioning eye-tracking studies suggesting that people pay attention to URL. Another article by NNGroup, Navigation: You Are Here states that: Well-chosen, human-readable web addresses are important to sharing, ...


9

I have a Point 3 that is similar to the Point 1, but does not expose the ID of the user (which might give away some information). Instead, I would simply assume that a given username is, at any point in time, held by a single person. Therefore, the url can simply embed the time (or rather, date): http://somewebsite.com/2011-10-05/ausername Then it is just ...


9

I think it's about time URLs in general got abstracted out of sight of ordinary users. Most people couldn't care less about this dotted syntax, the TLDs, the sub-domains, not to mention the protocol part. It's too bad that the current state of technology doesn't offer a superior alternative. Your aunt doesn't care about URLs. If she even knows which site ...


9

(tl;dr: Click through the presentation mentioned below to see how the BBC designed their URLs and to learn a bunch of other stuff you probably hadn't thought about much) The best approach to this I've seen is described by the BBC's UX director Mike Atherton in Beyond the Polar Bear (SlideShare). One of his main arguments is the use of domain-driven design, ...


9

I quite like using /account/ as the prefix, like this... Log in: /account/login My account: /account (redirects to /account/login if not logged in) Log out: /account/logout Sign up: /account/create or /account/signup Change password: /account/password I think this is a good structure since it organises the URLs from the user's perspective, instead of from ...


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