Juan Lanus
  • Member for 9 years, 4 months
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Why do Microwave oven UIs fail?
Accepted answer
31 votes

One UI is analogic, the other (the failing one) is digital, that is, the appliance is a microwave-computer mongrel. Alan Cooper, in his book "The inmates are running the asylum", teaches us that when ...

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Should we use 'Title Case' or 'Sentence case' for headlines and buttons?
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30 votes

I prefer 'Sentence case' over 'Title Case' because sentence case respects the difference between proper nouns and the other words. I always thought that it was customary in English. In Spanish it is ...

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Should all button text start with a verb?
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13 votes

The "OK" text of a button normally refers to an action mentioned above in the form, that will usually be a dialog. For example a "Delete this thing" dialog's "OK" button means delete it, a verb. ...

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What word can be used to mean either click or tap?
12 votes

Silly comments I'm a Spanish speaker, and this question comes from a prestigious member wearing the "GB" letters in his name, so I'm intimidated. But anyway ... In Spanish, quite informally almost ...

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Why are AC adapters (wall warts) designed to block adjacent AC outlets?
11 votes

IMO they are not designed, just engineered. With due respect for engineering, which is a must. Design seems to be considered optional. There is no need to limit the current from the output, as most ...

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Why is it that all caps text looks like SHOUTING, but all caps handwriting is easier to read?
10 votes

Caps are more difficult to read. This is because all letters have the same height, requiring some additional scrutiny to recognize each word (we read word by word, not letter by letter). So you can ...

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Why is 13px Arial font the web standard?
7 votes

Some years ago, like by 1998 or 1999, one would look at the pixel size (termed dot pitch) when purchasing a monitor. As of today’s standards (and let alone those Retina displays) pixels then were ...

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When to ask for registration
6 votes

Just read this (rather brief) article: http://www.uie.com/articles/three_hund_million_button/ It's about an e-commerce site that was dropping customers due to the registration thing. In brief, passing ...

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Check out cart that has too much radio button
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5 votes

The problem is not too much radio buttons (much better than dropdowns!) but too much divider lines. Delete as many lines as possible and you'll notice that it is not a radios problem. See my answer to ...

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Why is this design considered cluttered or overwhelming?
5 votes

When we humans look at something somewhat structured, like a UI, we tend to build a mental model. In order to achieve that goal, we scan the UI in an instant, unconsciously, and take note of each and ...

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Normal select box vs autocomplete widget UX wise
5 votes

As frequently happens, it depends. In this case it depends on the application type. If it's a UI that the users will use frequently, as at work, then typing a few characters is both faster and ...

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Should we use check boxes or not and select rows on click
4 votes

Audience & scenario Being a CMS system, you are not targeting casual users like the chubby woman that purchases cat chow online, but people (not necessarily smarter than said woman) that use the ...

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How to enforce shoes removal in a lobby/house?
4 votes

Set a white, clean blanket in the floor, and leave your shoes (a couple pairs) just before stepping on it as a demonstration. This should make your visitors worry about stepping on such a clean ...

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Hamburger menu icons - should they be on the left or right?
4 votes

The most used controls should be in the most easily reachable screen area. If the menu is seldom used, which I think it's the case, then it doesn't qualify to be within the right thumb reach. A seldom ...

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Is giving users false assurance a good thing?
4 votes

It doesn't have to be one or the other. Also, the wording of the message is not what makes it user friendly but it's content. Many years ago somebody joked about a mainframe that would stop with a ...

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Is a dropdown easy to use?
4 votes

There is another option: a "save" button furnished with the format options displayed as radio buttons. Usability-wise, and depending on the usage patterns, it would be nice to have a big and visible "...

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Make calendar icon obviously clickable
4 votes

For the user to perceive something as a trigger for an action (and hence clickable) it has to be labeled with a verb. Instead of calendar you can try show calendar, or relay on the image and label it ...

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What are good questions to ask when interviewing intranet users for persona development?
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4 votes

The less questions you ask, the better. For personas development one should use interviews of the *ethnographic * kind (Google for it). In these interviews the subject is encouraged to talk freely, ...

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How to measure Learnability?
4 votes

Learning = understanding + remembering IMO when added to the usability definition, the learnability facet refers to how recurring users can get back to the UI and already know how to use it ...

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How to make enterprise information systems more engaging?
4 votes

ERPs are not intended to be fun. But also, they should not be boring. We shouldn't consider that fun is the opposite of boring. For example, try interesting, or rewarding. I used to have a small ERP ...

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Choosing appropriate words for error levels
4 votes

Colors alone are not enough. For example the image included by msanford in his excellent answer would be meaningless if printed in a monochrome laser printer. The meaning of colors might be affected ...

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Best way to select a subset of items in a long list
3 votes

I have this UI that might be relevant. It could be useful if the advertisers were somehow organized in categories, and the user knew in which category is each one. It's a mouse-only UI, requiring a ...

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Why are animations out often neglected, even from Google?
3 votes

Opening animation If the UI layout changed suddenly, like when there is no animation and the change happens fast as it happens in modern PCs, then the user would be hit by the "What did I break?!" ...

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Why do ATMs need to take your card in?
3 votes

In my country (Argentina) for several years we are seeing ATMs that require one to insert the card in a slot and leave it there, but the card is never swallowed (normally, I never tried to enter many ...

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How does user interface design fit in a development process?
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3 votes

Disclaimer As our field is still rather young, many of the terms we use are not stabilized enough for a discussion as generic as this one to converge. Additionally, stabilized terms are regarded as ...

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Should a tagline be on all public pages?
Accepted answer
3 votes

I'd rephrase the question thus: To what extent do I want my users to read the site tagline? If it's that important then you can do things. Firstly, you want the user to read it once. Banging the user ...

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Is coffee a good excuse for a slow application start-up time?
3 votes

Accept the coffee excuse for now, but don't trust it. One day your client will have an issue with the 8-minutes thing, like a lost deadline or flight, and they will blame you. As their software ...

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Why doesn't Apple.com have a tagline/About Us section that communicates what they do?
Accepted answer
3 votes

@Benny is right: they don't need a tagline because everybody who is reaching their site through a computer knows what they do. Or, at least, they can afford not telling to those who don't. It's an ...

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Can we just use tooltip on some rather than on all controls?
3 votes

In tooltips we expect to see a brief explanation of the control's function. Any other information does not belong to the tooltip but to local help. The tooltip usually contains a verb, like delete ...

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Truncating long text labels - Best Practices?
3 votes

There is a non-written rule, that instead seems to be set in stone, about not breaking labels. Possibly many layouts would badly break if one tried to set a two-line label, which could be one ...

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