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Posts Tagged ‘interaction design’

Just a quickie for today…

No 'yes' option on 'Are you sure you want to Exit' screen

Maybe this is why online games for kids are so addicting – there’s no way to get out!

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I was reading an article about ways to increase traffic to your blog, because who doesn’t want more folks coming their site and realizing the wisdom in their words. 🙂

Anyway, the article mentioned submitting your site to a multitude of free blog directories, so I figured I’d give it try. Site after site asked for the same basic information. Here I am on about the fourth site:
Blank Registration Form

Piece of cake, I’d already filled out this same basic stuff 3 times before. The one thing I didn’t want to do was put reciprocal links on my blog, which according to the terms was fine, so I just left that field blank each time. I finished filling out this form, hit submit, and got this:
Registration Form with unseen error

Hmmmm….did it submit? My guess is no…but if not why didn’t it? I start inspecting the screen, field by field, until notice this:
Unobvious Error Message

Suddenly the reciprocal link field has become required (yes, scroll up to the first screenshot if you don’t believe me!) – or maybe they are using the exact same image for their error notation?! I have no clue. And even more interesting the error message (in the exact same font color and size as everything else on the screen) states that I entered an Invalid URL – can the lack of a URL actually make it invalid?

I was basically stuck at this point, I wasn’t going to go down the whole reciprocal link path, so I abandoned the task. I guess this is one blog directory you won’t find LiveUX in…

My Recommendation:

If a user makes an error in a workflow you want to direct them right to the source of the error so they can fix it quickly and easily.

  • The error message itself can appear either at the top of screen (indicating the specific field that is in error) or placing it in close proximity to the field itself (usually to the right or below the field).
  • Use an indicator to highlight the invalid field (for example a red X to the right of the field). Do not use an image that has more than one meaning.
  • The error message should by styled to stand out from the rest of the text on the screen. The norm is to use red text.
  • The error message should accurately describe the error that was made. It is also best to include the step(s) a user can take to correct it.

Okay, that’s about it for me today…I’m going to register LiveUX with a few more directories…wish me luck!

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I love perusing decorating sites. It’s always fun to collect inspiration photos to add to my collection. So off to a well known decorating site I go. Today I was looking for ideas for a kid’s room, preferably something nautical. I typed my search criteria (Nautical Bedroom) into their handy Search field:

Search input field

And here are my results:
No Search Results found

Huh? I’m on a decorating site! Why did I just get a ‘No recipes found’ message?! Once I look back at my original search I realized that the default search option is for the Recipe section only. This seems so odd to me on a decorating site.

My recommendation:
Make sure your default settings match what your user would expect them to be. I am hard pressed to believe that the vast majority of searches on this site are for recipes as opposed to decorating or some other topic. Or, for a site like this that has many topics, search the whole site, then allow the user to filter based on the topics that might be of interest to them.

Funny thing…As I was preparing this post I went back to the site to check something out and lo and behold, they have updated their Search. The whole Recipes/Site paradigm is gone and the default is now to search the entire site. Maybe they got an advanced copy of my post! 🙂

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