Tag Archives: UI

Why I Just Uninstalled Ad-Aware

I recently uninstalled Lavasoft’s Ad-Aware Antivirus. As part of the uninstall process, it suddenly took me to a page on Lavasoft’s web site asking me about what made me uninstall their product. I consider that kind of rude and unexpected, but since I was uninstalling the product specifically because of my deep dissatisfaction with it, I […]

Why Are We Abandoning Menus?

A while back, Ubuntu’s Mark Shuttleworth posted a blog article called “Introducing the HUD. Say hello to the future of the menu.“ Shuttleworth mentions how a menu is “the M in WIMP and has been there, essentially unchanged, for 30 years.” The clear implication, of course, is that the time for a change has come — […]

Portable Computing UI Redux: Editing Photos While Walking Downtown

One thing Instagram’s done for me (or to me): It’s made me much more prone to editing images on my phone. Which means I now have more data on the real-world equivalent of Charles Stross’ speculative incident in the beginning of Accelerando: [Manfred is] standing in the plaza in front of the Centraal Station with […]

Are We Always New At Everything?

The trend in Microsoft’s products for the past 15 years or more has been toward making things easy for the people who have never used the software before. Of course, as time goes on, there are fewer and fewer of those people. The Ribbon is introduced in the Help file thus: And if you’ve used previous versions […]

The Difference One Site Can Make

Only a year ago, I was against infinite scroll. In design meetings, I’d point out the way it breaks various aspects of the scroll bar. (You can’t tell how far through the full data-set you are; dragging the “thumb” down causes it to suddenly change place, etc.) But now, I almost expect it when I’m scrolling […]

Are You Sure You Want to Read This Blog Post? (y/n)

When should you ask a user “Are you sure you want to do that?” Bear in mind that asking this question when you don’t have to has more than one bad effect: Obviously, it wastes the user’s time and may even annoy them. It also contributes to the general problem of “too damned many dialog boxes […]

Initial Impressions of the Samsung Epic and Android

A few nights ago, my Palm Prē got dropped, causing a hairline fracture in the touch-screen. Since it would no longer take any screen input, it was suddenly an even less useful device than usual. I’d been thinking of switching to an Android phone anyway, so I am now the (proud?) owner of a shiny, […]

Common Flash UI Mistakes

One of the biggest problems with Flash isn’t Flash itself. It’s Flash designers. More particularly, it’s Flash designers’ basic failure to understand why certain UI elements are the way they are. This leads to one of the most common Flash designer diseases: The drive to reinvent basic UI elements. Poorly. Page Transitions When a user […]

Facebook and Privacy

Okay, so I’m a little late to the party in posting this. All the professional bloggers have already written about it, while I’ve been busy with my day job. Nonetheless, something that’s been on my mind since the beginning of the week, when it would have been timely: I think Facebook has now hit its […]

Augmented Reality vs. Low Tech — Ready? Fight!

I’ve written before about augmented reality, Sixth Sense, and so on. Here’s a question: Is this really augmentation? As augmented reality takes hold, we’ll have more and more people wandering around looking at their smartphones’ screens rather than what’s actually in front of them. The smartphone delivers some extra information, of course, but it imposes […]