Todd Sieling
  • Member for 11 years
  • Last seen more than 2 years ago
Should an interface ever say "thank you"?
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20 votes

I think having software that thanks people adds a kind of anthropomorphic noise to the interactions that end up backfiring when the software doesn't cooperate and people infer intentions behind the ...

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How to format UI control screenshots so users don't think they're touchable?
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14 votes

I immediately wondered if the images could be wired up to open the preference setting they refer to. Assuming that won't work, three tactics come to mind: Try turning the preference control images to ...

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Is "magic" an appropriate label for a sorting option?
11 votes

If I were looking for something clearer I'd use 'Sort by Recommended' That said, whimsical terms like Genius and Magic (and Automagic) don't bother me. I see them as shorthand for complex process ...

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Is it effective to ask users which design they prefer and why?
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9 votes

In short, no. People without the literacy needed to evaluate a design by looking at wireframes can't give you a good answer. The only way to get a real answer from your target audience is to test the ...

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Highlight most used menu items
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9 votes

MS Office had adaptive menus for a few years, where the least used items would stop being shown without additional action by the user when the menu is open. It never seemed to please many people, as ...

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Examples of placebos in UI design?
9 votes

Where Google Instant is being used, the search button is kind of a placebo: you don't need to click it after updating the field. The button might be retained in case the browser doesn't communicate ...

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Least obstructive text input boxes within text
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9 votes

I would show the blanks as underline-style blank spaces. Clicking one of these would turn it into an input field. When the field loses focus, you could leave it as is: an input field with some text in ...

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Will users actually leave sites that they find "boring"?
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7 votes

To answer your question as written: yes, people leave things because they are boring, but they are not boring for the reasons that your friend thinks they are. Only the content will determine ...

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Can ugly be good UX?
7 votes

Ugly is, of course, a matter of taste, but if we take it to mean unpolished, unfinished or disproportionate and clashing, I believe it can be good UX provided the ugly strengthens the overall ...

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How should I sort items in a drop down list?
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7 votes

If you have nothing else to guide a sorting order, alphabetic makes the most sense. At the very least it creates an affordance for repeated use, where people will likely recall the name of a ...

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Login wording: be terse?
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7 votes

The page has the word Login as a title, so I'm unsure about why it needs any further descriptive label. As for the remaining two items, I'd go with the shorter versions. They're just simpler to read,...

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How to make "signing a contract" on a tablet feel serious and legally binding?
6 votes

Though the question is off-base for the ux forum, one of my clients is a web service for doing contracts that include e-signatures. The short answer is that the there are no legal issues with signing ...

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Should we restrict signup for a service to Facebook accounts only?
6 votes

Absolutely not. You lose so much more than you gain with Facebook sign-on: control of the sign-on experience, the ability to chart your own course with your service, the first point of contact with ...

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Technical Word for "time spent on website"?
6 votes

It's often called a 'session' or 'session length', though the exact meaning can differ depending on who you talk to. In some cases a session will refer to the period of time before a person has to ...

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Alternative wording to 'upgrade from free trial to a paying plan'?
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6 votes

I recently faced something similar, and chose to avoid talking about changing the nature of the account altogether by saying "Your free trial is about to expire. Choose a subscription plan to ...

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How can I promote a value/ feature in a UI
5 votes

What you're really looking for is brand design. Branding is about all aspects of how a product, service or company communicates with the world, and part of that communication is to embody values in ...

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What techniques can I use to wireframe sites with responsive/fluid layouts?
5 votes

I can think of two resources that might give you a way forward: The Wireframe Magazine blog recently ran an article showing a grey box treatment for a responsive layout. The Media Queries website ...

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Should we delay the website launch to work on improving user experience and accessibility?
5 votes

You'll ever know everything that needs to be fixed until you launch. You should get the site to the point where you can say 'this is a good first impression.' And then go for it, open the channels so ...

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How can I structure a usability study to produce findings that relate to the long-term use of a tool by an expert user?
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5 votes

I don't know of a technique that will help you test designs for high frequency usage without a serious investment in user testing. Assuming that you don't have the time or budget, there are some ...

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Suggested mobile approach to dual actions
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5 votes

My first choice would be to look for a way to combine the details and chapters list so that a person could get to both from a single touch of the book name. But from the two approaches depicted in ...

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Alerting Users of "FrameBusters"
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5 votes

Though I generally dislike the kind of frames you're talking about, it might be better to keep the person's sense of control over what is happening. A message like "[Site Name] cannot be loaded in [...

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Does it make sense to put a prompt for sound or mute before a game is started?
5 votes

Use the loading or game start screen to indicate that the game will be playing sound and to adjust the volume accordingly. I've seen some games, notably Osmos for iOS and Mac that shows a image of ...

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Will users scroll the autocomplete results on a mobile device?
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4 votes

I don't have research on this, but I'd recommend not trying to get people to scroll. Long lists of auto-complete suggestions are naturally shortened with a few more keyboard taps. It's somewhat ...

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In a form, is Switching between advanced to basic a good idea?
4 votes

Since all of the form is required, I don't recommend splitting the visibility of fields along the lines of Basic and Advanced. I would first look at trying to group related fields. A longer form can ...

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Are QR Codes good UX?
4 votes

I consider QR Codes bad UX in general, and a momentary fad. My main complaint with them is that they replace human-legible space with exclusively machine-legible space. The technology actually ...

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How do rounded corners affect usability?
4 votes

The UX Movement article on Why Rounded Corners are Easier on the Eyes mirror some of the comments here, but also make a really interesting point about how rounded vs. squared corners work to direct ...

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Does SEO really affect user experience in a positive way?
4 votes

When SEO is done well and honestly, it helps make a good first impression to the visitor who arrives from a web search, as they will find what they expected. If someone looks at a page of results and ...

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Best practices for website front page slideshow?
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4 votes

Some quick suggestions based less on research and more on personal pet peeves: Ensure that the person visiting the site can control the slideshow Ensure that the navigation dots (like those in the ...

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What approaches to online commenting best promote high-value discussions and content?
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3 votes

There are a number of factors, some of which are beyond the interface's control like the nature of the content, but one factor in your control is how to handle identity. Disqus published a blog post ...

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An icon that represents "End Game" in iPhone app
3 votes

I've used 'Exit' in a mini game, and placed it on a door which fit the scenario as the game space used a room metaphor. This seemed to work for people though it took them a moment to understand it as ...

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