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GUI Design: One Way Ticket

One-way tickets certainly have their place in the physical world, but not in the navigation of dialogs in a GUI. When one dialog invokes another dialog (known as nested dialogs), the return trip should be part of the deal. GUI users expect a roundtrip ticket; they do not think they will be stranded somewhere with no apparent knowledge of what has happened along the way. Microsoft® Word® 2010 has more than one instance of stranding users at the end of a dialog trail.   MS WORD® PAGE SETUP DIALOG The Page Setup dialog in MS Word 2010 is invoked by clicking the small icon in the lower right corner of the Page Setup group on the ribbon. The icon highlights and displays a large, helpful tooltip on mouse hover. Figure 1 is a portion of … Read entire article »

Filed under: GUI Design, Mistakes

GUI Design: Clicking Labels

Click this Label… No Clicking Here… For more than 15 years GUI applications have given users the option of clicking the label of a checkbox or radio button instead of clicking just the button itself. Browser-based GUIs did not provide that functionality early on, but in recent years it has become standard. So much so, that I’m still surprised when I find a GUI that does not have that implementation. Most implementations are as minimal as the example above, where the only clue that the text Click this Label is clickable is the fact that the radio button highlights when the mouse cursor hovers over the text (there is no highlighting on the Mac® OS). Note that no highlighting occurs when hovering over the label for the second option No … Read entire article »

Filed under: Controls, GUI Design, Mistakes, Tooltips