Tag Archives: usability

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 often programmers misunderstand the potential that results from writing correct error message.  Error messages can be the key to usability.  Error messages can help train users, and guide administrator.  All you have to do is understand the purpose of error reporting. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on February 14, 2013 in Coding, Design, Poor Error Msg


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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.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on January 22, 2013 in Design, Resource


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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 a problem for any user learning to use the program.  The dead element gives no indication of why it is dead.  There is no way for the user to find out!  The user just has to “just know” why it is dead.   The most important aspect of a good user interface is that it help people learn how to use it, and that means eliminating things that users have to “just know” ahead of time. Such elements should never be completely dead, instead, they should produce a message explaining why the function can not be used at that time.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on November 25, 2012 in Design


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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 real story. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on October 10, 2012 in Design, practice


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Appropriate Technology for UI

There is general agreement that a Graphical User Interface (GUI) is a superior way to interact with a program, however a GUI is not always the best way.  We need to learn to use “appropriate technology” that is, the right technology at the right situation. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on June 21, 2012 in Design


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