Tag Archives: user interface

Context Error Reporting

One of the biggest mistakes I see programmers make when writing an error message is to forget to include details about the context into the message.  The message effectively “assumes” that the reader knows the context, but that assumption is … Continue reading

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Usability is like the Flavor of a Meal

We talk about usability of software as if it was something separate from the software itself.  There are usability experts, and there are programmers who openly claim to not be very good at user interface.  And yet, usability is affected … Continue reading

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Not-So-EasyChair Hints

There is a conference management system called EasyChair which many of the academic conferences use to manage the submission to the conference, the reviewing of the submissions, and the selection of the papers to be included.  It is tried and … Continue reading

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Usability Means Not Jumping Through Hoops

The image of being forced to jump through hoops is one of being required to take arbitrary actions in arbitrary orders just to satisfy some goals that are either unseen or at least not in the interest of the user. … Continue reading

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Usability Means Well-Behaved, even when the User Isn't

Users of a program found that sometimes, when they went to log in, they did not get a place to enter the username & password.  Instead of the normal login prompt, they got a blank screen, and it was completely … Continue reading

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The Purpose of Error Reporting

Error messages are part of every user experience, but too often these messages are poor, cryptic, and insulting.   Too often programmers do a half-hearted attempt at writing error messages, mostly because they mistakenly assume that users will never see them.  Too … Continue reading

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UI Guideline Resources

Every good development team creates guideline for the implementation of the user interface, so that the implementation is consistent.  A consistent meaning helps users to understand more easily what is meant by a particular arrangement of UI elements.  

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#32 Don’t Disable UI Elements

The concept of “disabling” a user interface element seems like a good idea to let users know that a particular action is not available. The problem is that most implementations made a disabled element completely dead and unreactive.  This is … Continue reading

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Is the UI Team Broken?

How can you tell if your User Interface (UI) team is broken?  There are some indicators if the programmers implementing the UI are approaching things in a way that is likely to give you a good UI as a result.  This is a … Continue reading

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