A brainstorm on interface detail heuristics.
- Right-click is stupid, obscures needed functions with less relevant stuff. Entries like cut, copy & paste could be solved with a small tooltip on marking text, similar to what iOS does.
- Menu bars: Most often just duplicate functions which are readily available elsewhere in the interface. Offering more ways to do one thing does not make it easier to use the software.
- Double-click: The most common action for files or folders is to open them and not to select. Also, double clicking takes longer, is difficult for muscle impaired people and leads to people double-clicking in web sites as well.
- Scroll direction: Natural scrolling. Scroll direction is just purely learned. Get a person who never used a computer before, how do they move the page? (Answer: They try to touch the screen.)
- Monospace typefaces: Just why can’t console output be displayed in an aesthetic typeface?
- Settings: Not only advanced users go to the settings. If people actually need to change something, the option they need gets obscured by other options. If there are too many settings in your software, rethink your target group.
- In general, software can’t and should not aim to cater to everyone. If you develop software there are most certainly always people who do similar things which also mostly cater to more technical people.
Complex words should be replaced by easy, less technical alternatives
- URL / URI → (web) address
- cut http://, www. and trailing slashes, every unnecessary part of the address
- IRC channel → chat room (link to webchat.freenode.net/?channels=channelname)
- bug → issue
- avatar → (profile) image
- (re)boot → (re)start
- trash → deleted (files) (autosave should be standard)
- successfully saved → remove »successfully«
- music file, image file → remove »file«
- MIME type → file type
- Cc → just remove that function altogether, why not just add as additional recipient?
- Bcc → send hidden? Blind copy isn’t really the solution.
- Save: Don’t use a floppy disk, many (young) people don’t know what that even is. Apart from that, autosave should be standard, and then a star or similar could make sense.
- Settings: I don’t have a good solution yet but gearwheel or wrench is just not a good metaphor.
- Passwords don’t need to be complicated, read Thomas Baekdal on the usability of passwords.
- Repeat password fields are just annoying. Consider to stop password masking.
- Similarly, repeat email fields are just copy-pasted into. Rather solve it.
- I hope everyone knows that Captchas are the worst. Users should not need to make up for flawed security in the software.
- Pop-ups of any kind disturb the user’s flow. People are very likely to dismiss them. Hence, never use a warning when you mean undo.