77

The historical reason is that that's what the spacebar does in more, the lowest common demoninator (and probably oldest) of text pagers. In more, it makes sense to map the largest key on the keyboard to the most common action: show the next page. In the glory days of more, you couldn't count on mouse scrollwheels, page down buttons, or sometimes even arrow ...


61

Encapsulated flags are the only solution I've found that reach all edge cases. Pointing the flag at the label rather than the input allows for consistency with radio buttons and check mark groups or weird inputs like sliders or sorters. Highlighting the field with red is also helpful, but not always possible. Example usages below. download bmml source &...


47

Short answer You can't design for them. It can be that your design is bad, or that people really cannot concentrate on the task due to their internal reasons, explained below in the long version. If you have successfully determined that it is the second case, nothing in your design can change how people tick internally. An easier to use application will ...


44

It seems you're already marking optional form fields instad of required ones. There seem to be no 'required' indicators, but no 'optional'-indicators, too, so I wanted to mention that. What I like to do on forms is to "micro-gamify" them: For every field in the form provide a "validation-indicator". For simplicity, let's say it's just a small circle. This ...


41

I would consider two things here: Visual connection to action Common standard implementation To the first point - visual connection: If you see an arrow that points up, you expect something to happen in that direction. You will automatically look up, not down. So every action that goes to a different direction will feel alien, detached. So this argument ...


38

A button should show what will happen when it is next clicked - not point to something else. When the button above a closed menu is clicked, the content will drop down - so the should point down (to where the content will appear) When the button above an open menu is clicked, the content will move up into the button - so the arrow should point up.


31

The spacebar is the largest key of your keyboard, and is consequently the easiest one to interact with. For that reason, apps tend to use the spacebar for: a simple action: where no input, precision or direction is involved. a repeated action: the spacebar is the easiest to press several times in a row. a "forgivable" action: if you accidentally press it, ...


30

The error message should appear before the form field itself (at a minimum in the markup itself, but ideally visually shown this way on the screen too) so that when someone is reading the form they read that the field has errored before they then read the field in question - that way the user is prepared mentally that "the contents of this field I am about ...


26

Is your question "Should we go ahead and ship the product with a 17% failure rate?" If so, and if you're sure there are no weird extenuating circumstances that compromised the integrity of the test itself, here are the factors I would weigh: What does the task failure mean for the user? Is the nature of the task such that a slight inconvenience -- and maybe ...


25

Arrows pointing in our reading direction (right or down) point forwards. Buttons should indicate what happens when clicked. The arrow on a dropdown button should point right or down as it indicates new content will be visible once clicked. Once the dropdown has been opened, clicking the button again should close it. Therefore the arrow should point upwards ...


22

The main reason for that, IMO, is if the user is logging in from a location that is not necessarily their home or normal one - public computer, friends house, etc. By not "remembering me" I signify that I don't want the site to remember my username making it easier for someone to guess my user ID and pass. Yes, I should log out, but what if I forget? ...


21

I would say it has to do with the following reasons : Contrast : Studies have shown that black or dark backgrounds provide the easiest contrast and can allow users to read discrete information quickly without having to make an effort to discern details when in a dark environment (which is often the environment in cars) Darkness adaptive : Another reason is ...


21

I don't have any evidence that this is the reason the spacebar is used for page down, but back in the day when IBM was setting PC design standards (that still heavily influence the design today), the original IBM AT 84-key keyboard from 1981 (IIRC) did not have page up/down or dedicated arrow keys (they shared the number pad): The standard 101-key keyboard ...


14

There are some differences yes, and I have witnessed them myself. Using high fidelity mock-ups makes users think that the system they are using is fully functioning. That makes them think that system is not working properly and they rate usability to be less good. Rudd, Stern and Isensee wrote on their article Low vs. high-fidelity prototyping debate: ...


11

I believe that the ultimate answer to your question is a simple "No formal studies have been done," but that's fairly boring. After digging around a bit, the one explanation I came to a couple times was that Atari had a decent number of controllers (along with systems like ColecoVision, Intellivision, and Vectrex) where the buttons were simply numbered 1-N. ...


11

From a pure source code perspective, "why" may be hard to answer. In the latest WebKit, there is no commentary (neither the GTK implementation nor the EFL one): case VK_SPACE: granularity = WebCore::ScrollByPage; if (keyEvent.shiftKey()) direction = WebCore::ScrollUp; else direction = WebCore::ScrollDown; break; Rewind the ...


11

I suggest the "I Agree" button. We all know that the "I Agree" button is just some legal mumbo jumbo that neither the developers nor the end user truly care about. By having the checkbox, we lose the "I Do Not Agree" button. This makes it more difficult and frustrating for the end user to quit, which they should be able to do easily and at any time. For ...


10

There are plenty of folks who will say that your test should have ended at that first step -- when you rightly noted that the participant could not get past step one -- and you should just record that data point and move on to the next participant. Nothing wrong with that. Once I was that tester who couldn't find the zoom tool -- except it was "find the (...


10

There is an old (2007) white paper presented by Human Factors International that has some data about error messages. The conclusion they came up with then was: ...most users go through a completion phase—in which the goal is form completion—followed by a correction or revision phase, in which errors are corrected...immediate errors were largely ...


10

Luke W (our beloved guru of anything form related) has a bit of info from 2010: http://www.lukew.com/ff/entry.asp?1007 Personally, I really dislike forms laid out this way. They feel much more like legal forms than 'friendly'. But there does seem to be some research that justifies them. UPDATE: However, do note that 'voice' that your example is using ...


9

UX designers play tremendously important role in both test design and analysis of results. During the test design stage, they make sure that users have the choices "good", "better", and "best" instead of "the lesser of X evils". When it comes to analysing the results, UX designers aren't looking just at one screen but at the big picture of the workflow. ...


9

Even if a user is an expert, Fitts' law applies. Fitts' law doesn't refer to finding/identifying the target so much as how long it takes to hit it. Even after a user has developed muscle and spatial memory for where to move the cursor, a larger target that's closer to the cursor is still going to be quicker to hit than a smaller one further away (if only ...


9

So, how do you define the minimum value? Tuftes’ data density is really about three principles: (1) Above all else, show the data, (2) Maximize the data-ink ratio and (3) Erase non-data ink. In its extreme this could be interpreted as small as possible human could read. We’re talking about font-sizes as small as 3 pixels, but practically 5 pixels which is ...


9

From a user (non-programmer's) perspective. There's a difference between creating something and editing (updating) something. It's probably better to show this difference in button labels. This may be a stylistic thing, but if there's room for a longer label, I tend to use "Create Item" as oppose to "Create" so the action is crystal clear. This also makes ...


9

Since you're asking about the direction of the arrow, you might like to check out the Microsoft standards for glyphs and arrows. Scroll down from here, to the table that lists the different types of arrows and glyphs. It says things such as this: Chevrons point in the direction where the action will occur, to show the future state. Arrows point in the ...


8

You don’t end the test, but you don’t point out the tool either. If someone is hopelessly stuck, then obviously for summative purposes you score that session as “Unable to complete task (without help)” and include it in the No Joy category for statistical purposes. As long as you have consistent rules for judging when the user cannot continue on his/her ...


8

A/B testing is very limited in scope; it is concerned only with single specific measurable conversions. You can't A/B test for Satisfaction, Enjoyment, or User Experience. The 'UX Guy' is responsible for the whole user experience and isn't solely focused on a single narrow objective. You also need somebody to determine what to A/B test. That would come to ...


8

A scientific publication: Martin C. Maguire Senior Researcher, Loughborough University A review of user-interface design guidelines for public information kiosk systems http://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?view_op=view_citation&hl=en&user=FCZ_GjgAAAAJ&citation_for_view=FCZ_GjgAAAAJ:2osOgNQ5qMEC


8

Your script is off to a great start. I would refer to the Checklist for Prestest Briefing (Figure 5.7) in Moderating Usability Tests by Joe Dumas and Beth Loring. Additionally, here are some best practices: As Mark suggests, be careful using the word "test". The statement "we are in no way testing you; this is all about the prototype and what works and ...


7

These are not usability studies, per se, but discuss the way that people actually use passwords and their implications on the cognitive load of users. They are all co-authored by Cormac Herley, who is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research. Do Strong Web Passwords Accomplish Anything? We find that relatively weak passwords, about 20 bits or so, are ...


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