Usability


Monday, June 21st, 2010

Studying perceived performance of Firefox and Chrome

Category: Browsers, Usability

“A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.” said the cowboy John Wayne. Mozilla’s new intern with the same name knows that Mozilla needs to do… and it needs to do performance. It isn’t just about JavaScript performance though, the battle for the hearts and minds is perceived performance. This is a Read the rest…

Posted by Dion Almaer at 5:21 am
8 Comments

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1.7 rating from 3 votes

Friday, June 18th, 2010

Scaling UI controls appropriately on the mobile Web

Category: JavaScript, Mobile, Usability

Using the mobile Web with modern devices that give you the “full Web” and allow you to zoom in and out on the page (if zooming hasn’t been turned off of course). Sam Stephenson (of Prototype and 37Signals fame) has taken on the problem of the sizing of controls. If you zoom out, normally, controls Read the rest…

Posted by Dion Almaer at 6:04 am
3 Comments

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3 rating from 2 votes

Friday, November 20th, 2009

Full Frontal ’09: Todd Kloots on ARIA and Acessibility

Category: Accessibility, HTML, Usability

Todd Kloots is talking accessibility and ARIA, with examples showing how YUI nicely supports these techniques. He explains how to improve in three areas: perception, usability, discoverability. Can We Do ARIA Today? Yes. Firefox and IE (he didn’t say which version) have really good support for ARIA. And Opera, Chrome, and Safari. Likewise for the Read the rest…

Posted by Michael Mahemoff at 11:10 am
2 Comments

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3.6 rating from 21 votes

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

YQLAutoTagger – making it easier for people to tag their content

Category: JavaScript, Usability

I am right now part of the Stackoverflow DevDays conference tour introducing the attendees to the things Yahoo has to offer for developers. One of the things is YQL as an easy way to use web services. When talking to the Stackoverflow developers they wondered how to make it easier for people to tag their Read the rest…

Posted by Chris Heilmann at 9:10 am
1 Comment

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1.8 rating from 48 votes

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

Designing Web Interfaces with Bill Scott and Theresa Neil

Category: Books, UI, Usability

Bill Scott presented Designing Web Interfaces, a slideshow based on core items from his book (co-authored by Theresa Neil). There are some really interesting posts on the site, such as 30 Essential Controls. Theresa has been pinging the major frameworks and will be posting a matrix of coverage by the various frameworks. But more generally Read the rest…

Posted by Dion Almaer at 6:05 am
3 Comments

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4.3 rating from 15 votes

Friday, January 30th, 2009

Chromeless: Designing zen; a browser without a browser

Category: Usability

Alex Faaborg and Aza Raskin have been having some fun playing with a new design challenge at Mozilla, and it shows in their design review screen/pod/vidcasts. The latest episode focuses on chromless browsing: What would a browser look like if the Web was all there was? As the Web becomes even more ubiquitous, we’ll never Read the rest…

Posted by Dion Almaer at 12:43 am
4 Comments

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2.9 rating from 15 votes

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

Test Pilot: Wouldn’t it be nice to have a way to do real usability studies?

Category: Usability

How many tabs does an average use at a time? How about novice users? How often is the stop button pressed? How many times do people open a new tab to perform a search? There are hundreds of questions like these whose answers would help quantitatively inform the design process of Firefox. Those are the Read the rest…

Posted by Dion Almaer at 4:26 am
1 Comment

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4.3 rating from 22 votes

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

Lengthening Out URLs

Category: JavaScript, JSON, Usability, Utility

In our age of information and technology, there isn’t as much mystery as there used to be. In that sense, short URLs (e.g., tinyurl.com/123) can be fun! Who knows where you’ll wind up. Some folks aren’t as happy with uncertainty in hyperlinking; one of them, Darragh Curran, wrote in to tell us about his project: Read the rest…

Posted by Ben Galbraith at 10:22 am
19 Comments

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4 rating from 36 votes

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

Time Picker UI

Category: jQuery, UI, Usability

John Resig linked to an interesting new time picker UI that Maxime Haineault implemented as a jQuery plugin: He made a “two click” time picker. The first click is within the time field. This activates the display and allows the user to choose the time – all of which is done by moving the mouse Read the rest…

Posted by Dion Almaer at 12:01 am
16 Comments

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3.2 rating from 34 votes

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

Ext JS Key mapping; Keyboard handling as a first class citizen

Category: Sencha, Usability

I am a strong believe in making the keyboard a first class citizen for your applications, including on the Web. Thus, I was interested to read how Ext JS has keyboard handling that ties into the entire system: Ext.KeyMap Ext provides several components that support keyboard navigation out of the box such as GridPanel, ComboBox, Read the rest…

Posted by Dion Almaer at 5:28 am
6 Comments

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4.3 rating from 74 votes

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

Understanding context in your New Tab

Category: Browsers, Usability

Aza Raskin and the Mozilla Labs team looks like they are having a lot of fun. They have been putting up proposals for new UIs and the latest involves a smarter new tab screen. Aza discusses how opening a blank screen doesn’t really help you. Opera already allows you to have a quick dial screen Read the rest…

Posted by Dion Almaer at 7:52 am
9 Comments

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3.3 rating from 19 votes

Friday, July 18th, 2008

Gratuitous animation at the new Borders.com

Category: Prototype, Usability

Bill Scott took a peak at the new borders.com and quickly saw an instance of the anti-pattern: Animation Gone Wild. Here it is in action: And his analysis: Instead of popping up the book, music, dvd information quickly we are required to watch the talent of the developer to sloooowly animate the box into place. Read the rest…

Posted by Dion Almaer at 6:02 am
1 Comment

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2.7 rating from 7 votes

Monday, June 9th, 2008

Require Javascript for Contributions?

Category: Accessibility, Editorial, Usability

On the Stack Overflow blog, Jeff Attwood asks Is it OK to require JavaScript to participate? Note that by “participate” I mean “edit, answer or ask a question”. Of course passively reading a question and the associated answers will work fine without JavaScript enabled. … While we do believe in progressive enhancement, it’s possible that Read the rest…

Posted by Michael Mahemoff at 3:53 pm
21 Comments

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3.3 rating from 22 votes

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

Addressbook: An example of the Form History Pattern

Category: Gears, Showcase, UI, Usability

One of the examples that Ben and I give in our State of Ajax talk at Google I/O today revolves around form history. We were thinking about the case for Undo on the Web that Aza Raskin is proposing and it got us thinking about the usage patterns of form data. An example that got Read the rest…

Posted by Dion Almaer at 11:34 am
9 Comments

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3.6 rating from 18 votes

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

An easier and more accessibe YouTube player

Category: Accessibility, Usability

We’ve covered the YouTube JavaScript API here before and especially the chance to write your own players in HTML and JavaScript with it. Especially the ext.js based one to one copy of the YouTube interface was of interest. At the Accessibility2.0 conference in London earlier this year, Antonia Hyde of United Response gave a talk Read the rest…

Posted by Chris Heilmann at 4:50 am
5 Comments

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3.8 rating from 19 votes

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

The seven rules of pragmatic progressive enhancement

Category: JavaScript, Tutorial, Unobtrusive JS, Usability

I’ve been talking about progressive enhancement here before and got a lot of flak in comments about it. It seemed that there was a general misunderstanding of progressive enhancement and unobtrusive scripting as a “passing fad” or “backward facing rather than being innovative”. I was asked by a design agency in London to go there Read the rest…

Posted by Chris Heilmann at 5:58 pm
3 Comments

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3.9 rating from 20 votes