Articles

Topic: Application Design

  • Tabs, Used Right

    July 9, 2016

    12 design guidelines for tab controls to distinguish tabs from site navigation and address click uncertainty.

    Top 10 Intranet Trends of 2016

    June 5, 2016

    Hero images, carousels, fat footers, video, minimalist design, and responsive navigation, are among some of the top feature trends of the best intranets of 2016. We even see a revival of online help that’s actually helpful to employees exploring new features or attempting complex tasks.

    Slider Design: Rules of Thumb

    September 13, 2015

    Selecting a precise value using a slider is a difficult task requiring good motor skills, even if the slider is well designed. If picking an exact value is important to the goal of the interface, choose an alternate UI element.

    Progress Indicators Make a Slow System Less Insufferable

    October 26, 2014

    Wait animations, such as percent-done bars and spinners, inform users of the current working state and make the process more tolerable to the user by reducing uncertainty. Users experience higher satisfaction with a site and are willing to wait longer when the site uses a dynamic progress indicator.

    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.

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