Usability


Tuesday, January 17th, 2006

Why you should right align form labels?

Category: Usability

Swapnonil Mukherjee has written a usability piece that delves into why you should right align form labels. Swapnonil makes the case that we should always right align by showing us the movement of users’ eyes. You probably already knew the comparison between: Left Aligned X*N + ((N-1)*(SQRT of( X^2 + Y^2)) Right Aligned (X/2)*N + Read the rest…

Posted by Dion Almaer at 2:42 pm
10 Comments

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3.5 rating from 26 votes

Thursday, January 12th, 2006

Nine Tips For Rich Internet Applications

Category: Usability

Bill Scott has been putting in some great posts on Ajax design in the past few months. His most recent post is “Nine Tips for Rich Internet Applications”. Among the tips: 1) Make it directly interactive 2) Make it inviting 3) Use lightweight, in-context popups instead of page transitions where possible 4) Use real-estate creatively Read the rest…

Posted by Michael Mahemoff at 6:24 am
1 Comment

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3.9 rating from 30 votes

Tuesday, January 10th, 2006

The Importance of a Good Beta

Category: Ajax, Editorial, Usability, Web20

We get a lot of submissions for beta sites to showcase their use of ajax. Michael has written a great post that should be required reading for anyone before they click “send” on that press release email. He stressed that you often only get one chance with the early adopters, so if you blow it Read the rest…

Posted by Rob Sanheim at 4:36 pm
6 Comments

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3.9 rating from 57 votes

Monday, December 26th, 2005

Free Progress Indicators

Category: UI, Usability

So you’ve figured out that your users would appreciate a Progress Indicator during those impatient moments of asynchrony. Coding it is easy enough, the hard part is coming up with a pretty animated icon. Well, you can hopefully skip that bit now, thanks to a nice collection of animated icons from Jakob Skjerning (via Deep Read the rest…

Posted by Michael Mahemoff at 7:58 am
1 Comment

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3.9 rating from 18 votes

Thursday, December 15th, 2005

What Ajax _Can’t_ Do

Category: Accessibility, Ajax, Editorial, Usability

Fellow Ajaxian Michael Mahemoff posted on something not discussed enough – what Ajax can’t do: Browser morphing Adding buttons, toolbars, bookmarks, icons; changing browser behaviour. Local file access Reading and writing files on the user’s hard drive. Sound Playing music and sound effects. Rich graphics Providing rich graphics, changing dynamically. (This is gradually changing with Read the rest…

Posted by Rob Sanheim at 10:28 am
22 Comments

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3.6 rating from 28 votes

Tuesday, December 6th, 2005

Alertbox Spoof: “Why Ajax Sucks (Most of the Time)”

Category: Editorial, Usability

Update: Argh! I was baited big-time. This all refers to a spoof article on the aptly-named Confusability. (I had these ideas on my mind after reading a similar comments recently on confusability, which I assume is the real thing.) Web usability pioneer Jakob Nielsen gives Ajax a big fat thumbs-down in his latest Alertbox, though Read the rest…

Posted by Michael Mahemoff at 5:15 am
11 Comments

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3.2 rating from 9 votes

Tuesday, November 29th, 2005

Tooltip.js: Creating simple tooltips

Category: JavaScript, Toolkit, UI, Usability

Tooltip.js is a simple library that builds on top of Prototype and Script.aculo.us. You can create tooltips programatically, or just by using special CSS classes. CSS Styling Tooltips The most simple example is to add a div with the class of tooltip immediately after the item that you wish to activate a tooltip. E.g. <p>Click Read the rest…

Posted by Dion Almaer at 10:18 am
88 Comments

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4 rating from 143 votes

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2005

Risks of Ajax on the Public Web

Category: Usability

Over at AjaxInfo, Alexei White is discussing the risks of Ajax on the public web. The second of three postings looks at several cultural risks: Heterogenous culture and expectations. Users are not very trainable. Short attention span. A few of the solutions include: Do affordance testing. Keep it lightweight. Ajax as value-added functionality. Liberal use Read the rest…

Posted by Michael Mahemoff at 4:16 pm
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3.3 rating from 6 votes

Friday, November 18th, 2005

Ajax Dialog Windows

Category: UI, Usability

Luke Wroblewski, a usability guy, has written about Ajax Dialog Windows. He analyzes the new world of poping up dialog windows, rather than having to send people to new pages for those tasks. This technique makes perfect sense when: You only need to capture a little content You don’t want to end up on a Read the rest…

Posted by Dion Almaer at 10:08 am
4 Comments

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3.7 rating from 63 votes

Tuesday, November 15th, 2005

Cross browser screenshots from Browsershots.org

Category: Accessibility, Toolkit, UI, Usability

Are you tired of wondering if your finely crafted interface will look correct in Safarai or the latest Konqueror on Linux? If so, check out browsershots. Just enter the URL you want screenshots for and it gets added to the queue. Check back (the delay is around a 12 hours lately) and you’re screenshots will Read the rest…

Posted by Rob Sanheim at 2:08 am
7 Comments

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4.1 rating from 14 votes

Thursday, November 3rd, 2005

Ajax monitoring for usability and monitoring

Category: Usability

Eric Pascarello had a recent post on using Ajax for monitoring user actions for automatic error logging/capturing. Basically he is turning the tables on the common misconception that ajax can be used for evil “user spying” by instead using ajax to log all the users actions throughout the page for testing and fault detection. He Read the rest…

Posted by Rob Sanheim at 8:54 pm
1 Comment

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3 rating from 5 votes

Friday, August 19th, 2005

Improving CMS Usability

Category: Showcase, Usability

Over at poocs.net they are improving CMS usability. The matter at hand is manipulating images, and doing so in a simple browser based environment: . The first prototype of the drag’n’drop image placement interface was done in a few hours of Disrupted Development (you know those days when people just don’t care whether you’re trying Read the rest…

Posted by Dion Almaer at 10:32 am
2 Comments

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3.1 rating from 7 votes

Wednesday, August 10th, 2005

FeedDigest Effects

Category: Showcase, Usability

FeedDigest is using the scriptaculous effects throughout the site. For example, if you add a feed you will see the following comment bar spring to live at the top: After flashing, it settles down for a bit, and then dissapears entirely. Although this is “cool” it has me wondering whether this is actually a good Read the rest…

Posted by Dion Almaer at 11:07 am
1 Comment

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3 rating from 5 votes

Wednesday, June 29th, 2005

Using CSS selectors to apply Javascript functionality

Category: Articles, JavaScript, Usability

Ben Nolan has written a nice piece called Using CSS selectors to apply Javascript functionality. He looks at Ajaxian showcases, and doesn’t always like the code that is mixed in the HTML. He goes on to explain how to use CSS selectors to abstract this code out, giving you the other benefit of a clean Read the rest…

Posted by Dion Almaer at 3:25 pm
6 Comments

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4.2 rating from 10 votes

Thursday, June 23rd, 2005

Trapping the Tab

Category: Usability

The more I use the new Ajaxified del.icio.us the more I like it. I had a “duh” moment when I realised that you could tab complete tags. This brought up a usability issue. On the web we are trained to think: Tab == Go To Next Field (or element if not in a form) I Read the rest…

Posted by Dion Almaer at 12:20 am
9 Comments

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3 rating from 3 votes

Friday, June 3rd, 2005

Showcase: Yahoo! Mindset

Category: Ajax, Showcase, Usability

We have talked about the slider component, as an example of integrating Flash and Ajax. The new search from Yahoo!, Yahoo! Mindset, shows a pure Ajax implementation of a slider.

Posted by Dion Almaer at 10:59 am
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3.2 rating from 6 votes