Tag Archives: UI

What Would an Ideal Portable-Computing UI Look Like?

Right now, the question of what you need in a mobile computing platform is most often phrased in terms of “Do you need a netbook or a full laptop? Or perhaps one of the new high-end smartphones will manage?” I think the question isn’t one of capabilities as much as it is a question about […]

How Many Ways Can You Exit an App?

Different people use applications in different ways. Sounds simple and obvious, but how often do you look at the real implications of it? Just to take a simple example, let’s suppose you’re using Windows (pretty much any recent version), and you want to perform a simple task: Exit the active application. How many different ways […]

How Many Ways Is Your Imitation Scrollbar Broken?

If you’re going to reinvent the wheel, you should at least make sure your new version is somehow better than the previous kind. Reimplementing standard UI and OS widgets is one of the most common ways developers reinvent the wheel these days — it started with Flash developers building their own controls, and has now spread […]

The Evolution of WordPress

For backward-compatibility testing, I’ve just installed a few versions of WordPress ranging back to version 2.0. It’s kind of fascinating to see a sort of fast-rewind retrospective of the software. Even just looking at the installation experience, it’s like watching HAL 9000 descend into childish incoherence as Dave Bowman yanks his memory chips. By the time you […]

OpenOffice Writer UX Warts

The more I play with OpenOffice.org’s Writer, the more confused I am by some of the odd UI/UX warts in it. Here are the ones that are on my mind this morning: When I press F11 to bring up the Style Picker list, why does typing letters not navigate me through that list? Why do […]

Thoughts on the Palm Prē: Category Catastrophe

Note, Added A Few Days Later: This post does not tell the whole story. This is a wail of anguish, and is not intended to be balanced. For a more balanced look at the Palm Prē, read my later, and broader, evaluation of it as well as this post. There are a lot of good […]

Musing on Mac Keyboards

I’m at a one-week contract this week, and the client uses only Macs. So I’m using an unfamiliar Mac keyboard — the kind with the transparent plastic casing, and the really stiff keys (by my standards, anyway). I am starting to get used to the propeller key already, and getting sort of used to using Meta-K […]

Cruel Rollover Trickery

I found an interesting UI problem today, on a site that I will be kind enough not to actually link to. Instead, I’ll just reproduce the general concept and problem here: alpha beta gamma delta The links all just link straight to the nav bar itself, so if you scroll your browser view so that […]

Don’t Waste My Time With Email Confirmation Fields

I just ran into yet another form on a web page that looked like this: First Name Last Name Email Address Confirm Email Address Address Line 1 … and so on These things drive me nuts. Once I’ve typed my email address in the first time, I just type Shift-Home to highlight the entire field, […]

If I Leave the Tutorial, Can I Get Back In?

While reading c|Net’s preview of the upcoming Palm Prē, I came across: “When you fire up the smartphone for the first time, there’s a brief animated tutorial to familiarize you with the various gestures” the Prē uses. And having a first-time orientation is a pretty common UX decision, especially for products that are trying to […]