obelia
  • Member for 9 years, 3 months
  • Last seen more than 2 years ago
Do user experience practitioners ever have to worry about code?
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55 votes

I think the process of producing software is much more efficient if the designers (or those that contribute to the design) have a strong technical understanding of the medium. For instance, in ...

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responsive website min-width?
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30 votes

Web design has always been about choosing an audience you care about. You could care about every single browser in use and either rely on the minimal set of common functionality or use progressive-...

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Who invented the blinking cursor
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25 votes

Here's the patent for the blinking cursor patent: http://www.google.com/patents/US3531796 According to that, it was invented by Charles A. Kiesling at Sperry Rand. Patent filed Aug 24, 1967, granted ...

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Why are keyboard keys staggered?
20 votes

My guess is that it's a skeumorphic carryover from mechanical typewriters. Note how the rows are shifted differing amounts, they are not all uniformly shifted from the rows above and below by half a ...

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Why is that the most popular sites don't use responsive design (and choose to use a mobile version instead)?
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19 votes

Sometimes different content and structure is desired for a mobile site, not just a different layout and styles. The reasons for this approach are nicely laid out in Jakob Nielsen's article here: ...

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Is a language switcher necessary on a web site's every page?
16 votes

People can reach non-front-pages of your website by many means, so you should have some indication on every page that it is possible to switch languages. If the clean design is that important that ...

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Why left-align a website?
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14 votes

Of the sites you mention, there's no good design or usability reason they are left justified. It's probably inattention to design and/or adherence to legacy design. (FWIW: You don't need a wrapper ...

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Why is the drag area usually limited to the "title bar"?
13 votes

The title bar isn't always the only spot to that can be used to drag the window, (these days some windows can be dragged by parts of their background, but it's rare) but it's the oldest and most ...

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Responsive Breakpoints?
13 votes

The current trend is to design breakpoints with content in mind. At some width the content will appear either too squished (or stretched out) and that's when a breakpoint should be used to rearrange ...

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How to best show connectivity
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13 votes

You shouldn't rely on just color for this. Most colorblind people cannot differentiate red and green, especially on very small icons. One possibility is to have some sort of network connectivity ...

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Is it bad practice to use Guillemets (laquo and raquo) on links?
12 votes

It's semantically incorrect, and I'm not sure of all the ramifications of that incorrectness, but I recommend using more semantically appropriate characters like right arrow → (→) and left ...

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Mixing rounded corners and square corners
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12 votes

Mixing rounded and square corners is usually considered poor design from an aesthetic point of view. From a usability perspective, the different kinds of corners would imply a difference between the ...

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Ways to show that a task is halfway complete?
11 votes

Elements with arrows to suggest sequence/transition is one option. Transitional nature seems more obvious when there are three or more stages (but don't force in a 3rd stage for this reason only). ...

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In a full screen mobile game where all corners are taken, where should I put a menu button?
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11 votes

That's a tough problem. You could use a drag-from-the-edge to reveal a menu. I would make drag from the left edge to pull a menu "drawer" from the left. You could put some visual cue that this ...

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Would having a generic waveform be too confusing for users?
10 votes

I think a problem with a generic waveform is that it will be "moving" and indicating sound when there is none (the audio is playing a silent section) and this disconnect would be bothersome (to me, at ...

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Using aspect ratios for responsive design breakpoints
10 votes

Strikes me as very problematic. Adapting to a device's width is much more useful than adapting to it's aspect ratio. In most cases you wouldn't want the same layout on a 4 inch (diagonal) device as a ...

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"Locked" and "secure" icons in one interface
10 votes

If it's possible to change the terminology, change "locked" to "read only" (even though "locked" might be the more accurate term) it might reduce confusion. "Read only" could be indicated with a ...

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Why do physical keyboards still have built-in numpads?
10 votes

The numeric keypad long predates computer keyboards, it was basically the UI of the adding machines used by tens of thousands of accountants in the days before PCs. Personal computers were originally ...

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designing for 45+ years old users
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10 votes

The only generalization I'd make about that age group is that often their eyesight declines, making the readability basics important: use default browser font size (i.e. don't set the font size for ...

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Are Visual Programming Interfaces effective for non-tech users?
9 votes

I've worked on visual programming systems/languages and I agree with Frederick Brooks. Graphical or diagrammatic or any kind of non-text based languages do not make good general purpose programming ...

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Limiting registration to be only by Facebook, is it a good idea?
9 votes

Requiring facebook is a bad idea. There is a significant number of people that don't use FB and there's no reason to exclude them. And others, even if they do use FB, prefer to register through ...

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Why is the caps lock key often so big on a keyboard?
9 votes

The caps lock key is "descended" from the typewriter shift-lock key. My guess is that, at the time typewriter keys became rectangular (as opposed to round) the shift-lock key was made wider than most ...

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Is it better to represent simple labeled information as table or just text with subheadings?
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9 votes

Your linked article is talking about the relationshiop between labels and input fields. The use case is in there is read, think, type. Input, process, output. And during output (typing) a user may ...

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Why do editors (such as MS Office apps) have so much redundancy?
8 votes

It's simply very painful to remove features from established software. Featuritus is often a marketing advantage. The initial redundancy of being able to invoke an action via menu or keyboard is ...

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What is the best way to display nullable bool value as UI component?
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8 votes

The 3 state checkbox has always been confusing. Think of it as a UI anti-pattern. Much clearer is 3 radio buttons labelled with plain language. download bmml source – Wireframes created with ...

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Range of Colors to Represent Values
8 votes

I think you can get 5 distinctive enough colors that can impart the necessary notion of sequence or magnitude (lighter to darker): It's a matter of mixing the colors in the Hue/Saturation/Brightness (...

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Can a mobile application be made using a totally flat design?
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8 votes

Jakob Nielsen has recently criticized Windows 8's usability, among the problems he found was that buttons and tabs didn't appear clickable because they were flat. That's a strong argument to not use ...

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Ipad/Iphone designing in Full-Screen vs Non-Full-Screen?
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8 votes

Apple's iOS guidelines say to "Think twice before hiding the status bar if your app is not a game or full-screen media-viewing app." I think their attitude is that if you don't really need the extra ...

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Should printed graphics of a domain start with www, uppercase/lowercase? How to make the user understand that it's a domain?
8 votes

"http://domain.com" is unambiguously a website. "www.domain.com" is equally clear but technically not necessarily a website. "domain.com" is likely a website. "go.to" (Tongan TLD) is recognized by ...

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What is the origin of "File/Edit/View/.../Help" menu
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7 votes

The menu bar at the top, if not invented by Apple, was popularized by Apple with their Lisa computer in 1983. The Lisa's (and Mac's) UI was inspired by the WIMP interfaces created at Xerox PARC but ...

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