User Assistance

disobedient-cocoa:

This blog post is sponsored by Fuel Collective, LLC., makers of such great apps as Permute, Pochade, Snippet or Eon.

Today, I’m going to talk about localization in Cocoa and the way I have approached it. Cocoa has been designed since its very beginning to be multilingual – already back in the…

volonbolon:

iOS and Cocoa in general is well know for providing a wide range of internationalization,almost for free. Let’s take a look at these technologies

API Name Description NSLocale Properties related to the current region, including formats NSNumberFormatter Formats and parses number ...
The Language of Interfaces by Des Traynor (@destraynor)

Super stuff from Des. The Language of Interfaces delivered at Refresh Dublin (@refreshdublin) and Content Strategy Forum 11 (http://2011.csforum.eu/).

Remember kids, squirting anything at anyone is just plain wrong.

seldo:

This is genuinely Microsoft’s idea of a “streamlined”, “optimized” UI for Windows Explorer. They were so proud of it they wrote a blog post about it.
The post is a sort of masterpiece of crazy rationalization, but I think my favourite part may be this screenshot:

Here, they proudly overlay the UI with data from their research into how often various commands are used. They use this to show that “the commands that make up 84% of what users do in Explorer are now in one tab”. But the more important thing is that the remaining 50% of the bar is taken up by buttons that nobody will ever use, ever, even according to Microsoft’s own research. And yet somehow they remain smack bang in the middle of the interface. The insanity is further enriched by this graph:

Again, this is Microsoft’s own research, cited in the same post: nobody — almost literally 0% of users — uses the menu bar, and only 10% of users use the command bar. Nearly everybody is using the context menu or hotkeys. So the solution, obviously, is to make both the menu bar and the command bar bigger and more prominent. Right?
Microsoft UI has officially entered the realm of self-parody.

seldo:

This is genuinely Microsoft’s idea of a “streamlined”, “optimized” UI for Windows Explorer. They were so proud of it they wrote a blog post about it.

The post is a sort of masterpiece of crazy rationalization, but I think my favourite part may be this screenshot:

Here, they proudly overlay the UI with data from their research into how often various commands are used. They use this to show that “the commands that make up 84% of what users do in Explorer are now in one tab”. But the more important thing is that the remaining 50% of the bar is taken up by buttons that nobody will ever use, ever, even according to Microsoft’s own research. And yet somehow they remain smack bang in the middle of the interface. The insanity is further enriched by this graph:

Again, this is Microsoft’s own research, cited in the same post: nobody — almost literally 0% of users — uses the menu bar, and only 10% of users use the command bar. Nearly everybody is using the context menu or hotkeys. So the solution, obviously, is to make both the menu bar and the command bar bigger and more prominent. Right?

Microsoft UI has officially entered the realm of self-parody.

Is That a Rich Web in Your Pocket?

Great Slideshare from Josh Holmes (@joshholmes) of Microsoft Ireland at the Dublin Google Technology User Group meet on Tue, 28-Jun-2011. Check out the mobile context of work important for UX folks.

Is that a Rich Web in Your Pocket? View more presentations from Josh Holmes

Mindtouch Most Influential 2011 Technical Communication Innovation Award Winners

Auodesk Wikihelp is the winner. Well-deserved too. Autodesk doing some great things in the community conversation and content space.

Apple Gets the Message Re: Mobile Messaging

Yep, looks like iOS5 introduces a centralized messaging system: the Notification Center. Wonder where they got that idea? Way to go though; matches and probably betters (I’ll have to check it out myself) what I really like about Android’s system…

Don’t You Need To Be Able to Draw to Make Comics?

This is the number one question I hear whenever we introduce the topic of comics as user assistance. The answer is “No.” A more pertinent response might be “Not being able to write never stopped anyone creating a User’s Guide.”

Anyway, here’s a great site with some free design resources: Martin Hardee’s Design Comics. All you need are ideas…

Image courtesy of designcomics.org

Stand Up for Comics: User Assistance That’s Not (Just) for Laughs

Check out my post about comics as user assistance on the Oracle Blogs site. And then consider the translation implications too.

If you have more examples of instructional comics — regardless of the language — then please share them!

Image courtesy of Duke CSPD. Create Commons License.

Developer Experience