Articles

Topic: Applications

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  • Placeholders in Form Fields Are Harmful

    May 11, 2014

    Labels or sample text inside a form field makes it difficult for people to remember what information belongs in that field once they start data entry.

    Mobile: Native Apps, Web Apps, and Hybrid Apps

    September 14, 2013

    Native and hybrid apps are installed in an app store, whereas web apps are mobile-optimized webpages that look like an app. Both hybrid and web apps render HTML web pages, but hybrid apps use app-embedded browsers to do that.

    Best Application Designs

    April 23, 2012

    Winning app UIs include domain-specific solutions that allow humans to focus on deeper issues while the software takes care of the mechanics.

    Disruptive Workflow Design

    March 12, 2012

    Smooth-flow task performance makes application use pleasurable. But disruptions are all too common due to crinkly design or creaking implementation.

    Browser and GUI Chrome

    January 30, 2012

    'Chrome' is the user interface overhead that surrounds user data and web page content. Although chrome obesity can eat half of the available pixels, a reasonable amount enhances usability.

    Overloaded vs. Generic Commands

    December 19, 2011

    Overloading different outcomes on similar commands can be confusing. Using the same command for multiple actions enhances usability if the results are conceptually the same.

    Testing Expert Users

    January 25, 2010

    It's more difficult to conduct usability studies with experienced users than with novices, and the improvements are usually smaller. Still, improving expert performance is often worth the effort.

    Customization of UIs and Products

    August 17, 2009

    Websites that let users customize the UI have the same measured usability as regular sites. Sites for customizing products, however, score substantially worse due to complex workflow.

    10 Best Application UIs

    August 12, 2008

    Many winners employ dashboards to give users a single overview of complex information and use lightboxes to ensure that users notice dialogs. Also, the Office 2007 ribbon showed surprisingly strong early adoption.

    OK-Cancel or Cancel-OK?

    May 27, 2008

    Should the OK button come before or after the Cancel button? Following platform conventions is more important than suboptimizing an individual dialog box.

    Top 10 Application-Design Mistakes

    February 19, 2008

    Application usability is enhanced when users know how to operate the UI and it guides them through the workflow. Violating common guidelines prevents both.

    Generic Commands

    October 29, 2007

    Applications can give users access to a richer feature set by using the same few commands to achieve many related functions.

    Tabs, Used Right

    September 17, 2007

    13 design guidelines for tab controls are all followed by Yahoo Finance, but usability suffers from AJAX overkill and difficult customization.

    Feature Richness and User Engagement

    August 6, 2007

    The more engaged users are, the more features an application can sustain. But most users have low commitment -- especially to websites, which must focus on simplicity, rather than features.

    Defeated By a Dialog Box

    July 23, 2007

    Interaction techniques that deviate from common GUI standards can create usability catastrophes that make applications impossible to use.

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