Tag Archives: UX

Microsoft Continues Their War Against Uptime

One of the things we’ve heard about Windows 10 is that it’s “the last windows version”, and from here on out, there’ll just be patches, incremental updates, and maybe the occasional service pack. So, in some ways, it’s sort of like Chrome’s habit of silently upgrading itself with no muss and no fuss. Except for one problem: Microsoft […]

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 […]

Commandments For Handling Passwords

If you’re taking passwords from users, here are some commandments you need to follow: Don’t Impose a Maximum Length Limit This is one of the most critical. One of the best things anyone can do to make their password — or pass phrase — more secure is to make it longer. Increasing the number of characters means an […]

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 […]

How Many Identities Does a Single Person Have?

(This was originally posted on Google+ itself. I’m also keeping it here, for easy reference.) A friend of mine notes that one of the problems of the current Google+ “real names policy” is that “Google is attempting to deal with (I’m assuming) manufacturing a community of 1-to-1 RL presence-to-online presence” — in particular, he says that […]

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, […]