A neat bit of observation from Marc McNeill at Dancing Mango.
Me-too brochureware banking.
The sad thing is that the more business which use such “me too” approaches, the more others also copy. This may be through laziness, cheapness, or a sense that this is somehow the best way. In fact, I feel a compulsion to go and re-layout some of my own websites into this pattern …
As the author admits “We’re doing nothing mind-boggling here”, but the recommendation to provide a tooltip explaining why an inactive button or menu option is not available is certainly a good one.
Why is that button gray? « EclipseSource Blog.
A thoughtful article on how attempts to provide a universal user interface typically create more problems than they solve.
Unqualified Reservations: Wolfram Alpha and hubristic user interfaces.
From time to time I have been asked if I know how to deliver Caller Ring Back Tones (CRBT). While it is obviously a popular feature in some parts of the world it has always mildly baffled me.
It’s nice to read that at least one person also finds this odd.
In a more general sense, though, this is interesting from a user-interface point of view.
I’m all in favour of giving users the ability to personalise their service as much as possible. Being able to paint the walls and move the furniture is a great way to get comfortable with a service. But the point of this is that each user is customising their own experience.
CRBT breaks this model. With CRBT, each user is, in effect, customising someone else’s experience. As an approach, this can have significant impact on usability, causing congnitive dissonance, a feeling of powerlessness, and a reluctance to use a service.
If you are designing a service, please think twice before adding features which allow one user to change the experience of another.
SmartGWT UI component library a blogged description and another one or go to the horse’s mouth and see the project page.
MochaUI is a whole desktop or content management system or something. See MochaUI in action here.
This looks like a neat tool for generating application user interface mockups (a.k.a UI prototypes), something we don’t really do much of here, but maybe we should.
SitePen Blog » The Interactive Prototyping Dilemma – A Review of Software Options, Part II: Balsamiq Mockups
The history of human-computer interaction is littered with alternative ways to enter and manipulate text. From one-handed keyboards through defining every letter as a different stylus swirl to predictive text on a numeric keypad. Here’s another one Swype is a way of entering a whole word with a wiggle of a finger or stylus on a touch screen.
This one looks like it’s building some buzz – I have already seen a blog entry elsewhere where the author wishes that the iPhone would hurry up and get a Swype implementation.
Move over T9, here comes Swype | Crave, the gadget blog – CNET
An important part of my work is producing web and mobile user interfaces. Both cases have traditionally had trade-offs: A modern desktop or laptop computer web browser is so powerful and potentially has so much screen space to play with that deciding how best to make use of all that resource is a daunting task. Typical lowest-common-denominator mobile devices, on the other hand have so little power, flexibility and screen territory that getting enough information and interactivity on any single screen-full is a struggle.
In this arena, the success of the iPhone is especially interesting. For many application developers, the iPhone has already gained enough market presence to be worth re-building mobile and web applications to suit the particular blend of size and features offered by the device. This in turn has led to some surprisingly usable condensed applications.
Slipstream – On a Small Screen, Just the Salient Stuff – NYTimes.com
In my training and experience as a teacher, it was often emphasized that the presentation of subject matter should adapt to suit the learning styles of students. Now here’s a bunch of researchers from MIT looking at how to apply this to adapting the presentation of web sites.
As with any other form of personalization, it’s guaranteed to make things tougher for support staff, though
Technology Review: Adapting Websites to Users
Many times when designing or implementing tabular user interfaces I have been through the loop of adding “zebra striping” to distinguish elements of a sequence. I have done this so often that my web framework Mojasef provides tools to assist in generating such stripes.
Jessica Enders has done a small study and written an article about the perceived effectiveness of this technique: A List Apart: Articles: Zebra Striping: Does it Really Help?