Nov
21
comment Why would one use “enter the name of the project to confirm”?
@phuclv But that's not to prevent them from accidentally entering the wrong PIN, is it? :D
Nov
21
comment Why would one use “enter the name of the project to confirm”?
Of course, a better solution yet would be to allow the user to reverse the action. Most of our UIs have gone that way, and it's so natural you don't even think about it (until there's that one thing that Ctrl+Z doesn't work on, oops). But showing a confirmation dialog like this is a cheap way of solving most of the accidental deletions.
2018
Nov
29
comment Is there a term for “the user can't use anything wrong” design?
I'd also recommend another alternative - instead of preparing for everything that could possibly go wrong, allow the user to go back. If it's feasible to implement undo for a functionality, it's probably going to work 9001% better than anything that tries to prevent the problem in the first place. Indeed, this is also used in the USB drive example - NTFS uses transactions exactly to limit the damage caused by unexpected loss of function (e.g. power loss). It cannot prevent data loss, but it can prevent file system corruption, unlike FAT32 (and for good applications, even data corruption).
Nov
27
comment Should software refer to itself in the first-person, especially in error messages?
It's not supposed to make you happy, it's supposed to reflect your emotion. Basic personal skills. The rich detailed data is easily available if you're technically knowledgeable, and hidden if you're not - what's the problem with that? Is there any good reason beyond "I have to read the documentation again" (ideally while complaining that "users don't read documentation")? :P
Nov
27
comment Should software refer to itself in the first-person, especially in error messages?
@alephzero Not Windows, BIOS. And the point is that you're supposed to plug the keyboard in and then press F1, which has been lost since PS/2 and USB keyboards that no longer work that way. Oh well.
Nov
27
comment Should software refer to itself in the first-person, especially in error messages?
@Meg Of course, this is true with humans as well. It's just that interpersonal skills are in a bit of a decline so people don't notice anymore. At the same time, corporation communication adopted the passive approach too, so for many people, it's considered a cop-out and infuriating ("What do you mean 'It stopped processing orders'? Who broke it?!"). You can't win.
Nov
27
comment Should software refer to itself in the first-person, especially in error messages?
@MichealJohnson The "we" refers to the product team. "It's our fault this isn't more awesome". Nobody is implying a dwarf running anything behind the scenes (unlike the early Apple systems that really personified the computer). But in the end, your preferences are just that - yours. Users don't want to understand anything technical; and those who do can still get to the technical information easily enough.
Nov
27
comment Should software refer to itself in the first-person, especially in error messages?
@insidesin Progress bars and %'s don't help either, and people keep complaining that they're pointless. That's why they've been phased out over the decades.
2017
Oct
30
awarded  Pundit
Oct
25
comment Why does Google still use paging instead of progressive loading?
Ctrl+F is doubly pointless, since the results aren't actually part of the page until you scroll to them (give or take a screen or two). In some versions, not even then, since if you want true infinite scrolling, you need to cleanup after yourself instead of letting the page take up more and more memory.
Aug
17
comment Is there a name for this drop-down anti-pattern?
@Bergi It does sound slow, but it's the same in Windows (of course, it can be dismissed immediately by clicking). In Windows, the menu also doesn't disappear when you leave it. The sub-menus are hover-based, but since the "main" menu wasn't, it's clear that it only disappears on a click (or key-press). Too bad that this is impossible now on the web, since many sites use the "main menu buttons" as both drop-downs and links on their own, not to mention that the mouse control still isn't quite good enough for that. And then they do the same thing again for the sub-menus, argh.
Jun
29
comment How do we ensure our staff read instructions aloud?
Of course, your employees still could read out the text out loud - adding the option to play a recording might make the actual reading seem more appealing in comparison. At least for those who at least try to get a smidgen of satisfaction from their job :)
Jun
26
comment How do we ensure our staff read instructions aloud?
@RichardEverett Not really. Think about it in two layers - one is the customer that calls into the call centre; he needs to get his warnings. Second is the employee that presents the system to the customer - his job is to present the warnings. If you can't do your job, you're usually disciplined or fired. It's not like the instructions are hidden or dense - they literally show text you're supposed to read to the customer, word by word. If you can't do that, why would I pay you? I don't need the lawsuits that are going to follow.
May
17
comment Boolean switch with a third state
@Kat On the contrary, I'm pretty sure this hit HNQ exactly because of this (which of course attracted even more people who don't even read the question). People aren't very good rationalists, so if you want to have a reasonable discussion about something, it's a good idea to avoid a completely orthogonal piece of emotionally charged information. That doesn't mean I like that people behave this way - they just do, and owning up to the truth doesn't make it any worse. Does the wording of the question help the OP get a good answer? No. Therefore it can (and should) be improved.
May
16
comment Boolean switch with a third state
It may be too late at this point, but removing the specifics from the question would have been a better option. Consider replacing "Gender" with something neutral, like "Has doodads? Yes/No/Indifferent". The fundamental question has nothing to do with gender, but you managed to attract plenty of opinionated people who consider gender a very sensitive topic and started posting answers that aren't answers to the question.
May
16
comment Boolean switch with a third state
No, there's only three possible search combinations. Both off is either identical to both on, or it gives you no results. Just because there's four combinations doesn't mean that all four have a distinct (or useful) meaning. If I search for men and don't find what I was looking for, the next thing to do is search for women; if I search without a filter and find too many results, the next thing to do is limit the search, not use "both on". Even if it's possible to have a null value, your search options wouldn't be very useful - is off "not equal" or "indifferent"? You'd need tristate for each.
Mar
13
comment My users keep naming things with special characters to thwart alphabetization
That wouldn't really help, though. They'd just do something like A___My first item, yay! or 0___My first item, yay! instead. You'd need to ignore the special characters in ordering entirely, which is a whole another can of worms.
Feb
16
comment What is the significance of the start-up sound of a system?
@PhillipW No, the two have a very different purpose. On Apple computers, it was a feedback "you pushed the correct button, now wait". On IBM-like computers, that feedback was already provided by the fact that the button had a feeling, and the first sound was "everything is right" (important if you didn't have a display or it was non-functioning in some way - rather common). Windows startup is much later than that, meaning "your computer is now ready to be used" or "your computer now requires user intervention". Apple put a lot of weight on making startup fast enough that you didn't wander off.
Feb
16
comment Why don't <button> HTML elements have a CSS cursor pointer by default?
@ÉdouardLopez Not quite. Unless your design is broken, there's still plenty of affordance even on flat buttons - for example, when you hover a mouse over them, they change background colour, add a border, expand... The original affordance a button provides was lost, but replaced with a different one. And since pointers became associated with links in particular, people expect them to open a browser, have a URL you can copy, open in a new tab in the browser, be safe (after all, links are supposed to be non-destructive), that kind of thing.
2016
Sep
8
comment Why the 360x640px resolution is currently the most used one?
There's no unit with the number, which is suspicious. Is there any note that the numbers are in pixels?