An interesting case study by Luke Wroblewski on the UX of Polar.

Also available as an iBook.

Tags: ux ebook mobile

Trying to sort site-wide search results on most e-commerce sites typically end up a mess, with irrelevant search results being propelled to the top of the list as users sort by price, customer ratings, etc – something that left the test subjects bewildered during our latest usability study on e-commerce search.


Luckily, there are a number of ways to solve this issue. In the rest of this article we’ll focus on 3 different ways to deal with users wanting to sort their site-wide search results (i.e. sort a product list without a scope applied).

  1. Suggest a Scope Within the Sorting Widget
  2. Suggest Both Scope and Sorting
  3. Offer “Faceted Sorting”



Citymapper is what happens when you actually understand user experience.




How people really hold and touch their phones

Slides from a talk by Steven Hoober:

Despite decades of research and years of us all carrying a touchscreen mobile handset around, there’s a lot of myth, disinformation and half truth about how they work, and how best to design for touch.

Steven has evaluated dozens of studies and performed some of his own to find out how your users really grasp their phones, and how to make touch targets that work reliably.


Affordances are the baby to skeuomorphism’s bathwater. When they engage our instincts just right, they create an emotional bond, and the unfamiliar becomes inviting. Without them, it’s just pictures under glass. It makes no difference how flat, how deep, how minimal, or how ornate the look-and-feel is if it can’t show us, when we look, how to feel.


Tags: ux design

Never use ‘Yes’ or ‘OK’ when you could use a verb instead.

And you can almost always use a verb instead of ‘Yes’ or ‘OK’.

I agree with Lukas Mathis’ postulation that nobody reads your dialog boxes. Use a verb whenever possible instead of ‘Yes’ or ‘OK’ because your buttons will make sense out of context with the explanatory text or title.

While we’re at wording, another interesting StackExchange UX “User Experience @ StackExchange” question: Should error messages apologize?


Tags: ux wording

Unfortunately a UI walkthrough is quite an inelegant way to explain the core functionality of an app. It can be a frustrating obstacle before you can dive into an app, and you have to remember all of those new ways of using it once you get in. […]

Arguably a less intrusive way compared to a walkthrough is to guide the user in the situation with UI hints. This can be done through slight visual cues and animations. A hint should not be a popup (it’s probably even more disruptive than a tutorial).


Tags: ux

You might wanna watch the video above, but in short: When scrolling content on a touch-screen, instead of letting momentum stop the scrolling, you can decide exactly where it should stop. It stops at the point where you flicked it.


Tags: ux idea touch

This method has several good points:

  • It can reasonably handle more than two options at once.. Eg, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, …
  • New options can be added or removed at any time.

But the most enticing part is that you can set it and forget it.

The strategy that has been shown to win out time after time in practical problems is the epsilon-greedy method. We always keep track of the number of pulls of the lever and the amount of rewards we have received from that lever. 10% of the time, we choose a lever at random. The other 90% of the time, we choose the lever that has the highest expectation of rewards.

Update: a reaction by Visual WebSite Optimizer: Why multi-armed bandit algorithm is not “better” than A/B testing.

There’s a clear tradeoff between average conversion rate and the time it takes to detect statistical significance. Moreover, it is also clear that any advantages of multi-armed bandit algorithms vanish if conversion rate of different versions is similar. […]
So, comparing A/B testing and multi-armed bandit algorithms head to head is wrong because they are clearly meant for different purposes. A/B testing is meant for strict experiments where focus is on statistical significance, whereas multi-armed bandit algorithms are meant for continuous optimization where focus is on maintaining higher average conversion rate.


Tags: ux code idea


Tags: ux ethics iOS Apple