Success and Failure Symbolic Representations & Patterns for "Details"

6 Aug 2008 - 6:31pm
6 years ago
1 reply
988 reads
Evan K. Stone
2008

I'm wrestling with the problem of how to tackle a couple of design
problems at the moment, and could use a little advice and help:

1. Success and Failure Symbolic Representations

One thing I've been dealing with is how to represent success or failure
of a process through colors, shapes, and symbols, and I'm just not
really satisfied with the things that I've come up with. Is there any
interesting prior art in this regard that someone would like to share?

As a corollary thought: TiVo uses green & red buttons with Thumbs
Up/Thumbs Down idiom. People in the US seem to get that paradigm, but I
was just curious to know if they use a different paradigm in their other
international markets (it looks like the device for Mexico has retained
the thumbs, but I couldn't tell with the controller for Taiwan -- the
controller seems to have the green/red buttons). Additionally, since I
don't think my designs are going international (for now), that paradigm,
while a bit campy, might actually work for the above problem (I was also
considering [big!] plus and minus symbols).

I would really appreciate some feedback on this if anyone feels like
giving it... ;)

2. Design Patterns for "Details"

The second issue is how to display "more information" or "details" for a
process that has completed (with either success or failure).

Typical patterns I've seen are the Mac OS "Disclosure Triangle", or in
Windows quite frequently there will be a button with the label "Details
>>" to expand or contract a dialog depending on the orientation of the
brackets, or also a tiny button with a plus sign to perform the
revelation. I'm sure there are more that I just haven't recalled or
encountered.

Of these, I think I'm more agreeable to the disclosure triangle, but I
was just curious to see if anyone had come across or was working on more
interesting patterns for this problem. I guess I just don't want to do
what's easiest for the developer (i.e. me, in this case), but rather I'd
like to explore some new patterns if they exist.

Thanks in advance!

evan k. stone | ux | dragnet solutions, inc.

Comments

10 Aug 2008 - 3:12pm
Oleh Kovalchuke
2006

1. Success and Failure representation

Using symbols to indicate success is clunky -- the symbol carries only one
bit of useful information. Instead of a symbol show the change resulting
from the action taken.

Move your mouse:
=> mouse pointer moves as well -- "Success!", no symbols are needed;
=> mouse pointer does not move -- "Failure", show guidance for system error
correction.

Every interaction with computer results in success (or failure), hence there
is no one symbol to indicate success. If you must, use checkmark.

2. Design Patterns for "Details"

Consider this: every time you click a link, you expect to see "details"
behind that link. The same is true for tabs and other navigation widgets.

--
Oleh Kovalchuke
Interaction Design is design of time
http://www.tangospring.com/IxDtopicWhatIsInteractionDesign.htm

On Wed, Aug 6, 2008 at 6:31 PM, Evan K. Stone <
evan.stone at dragnetsolutions.com> wrote:
> I'm wrestling with the problem of how to tackle a couple of design
> problems at the moment, and could use a little advice and help:
>
> 1. Success and Failure Symbolic Representations
>
> One thing I've been dealing with is how to represent success or failure
> of a process through colors, shapes, and symbols, and I'm just not
> really satisfied with the things that I've come up with. Is there any
> interesting prior art in this regard that someone would like to share?
>
> As a corollary thought: TiVo uses green & red buttons with Thumbs
> Up/Thumbs Down idiom. People in the US seem to get that paradigm, but I
> was just curious to know if they use a different paradigm in their other
> international markets (it looks like the device for Mexico has retained
> the thumbs, but I couldn't tell with the controller for Taiwan -- the
> controller seems to have the green/red buttons). Additionally, since I
> don't think my designs are going international (for now), that paradigm,
> while a bit campy, might actually work for the above problem (I was also
> considering [big!] plus and minus symbols).
>
> I would really appreciate some feedback on this if anyone feels like
> giving it... ;)
>
>
> 2. Design Patterns for "Details"
>
> The second issue is how to display "more information" or "details" for a
> process that has completed (with either success or failure).
>
> Typical patterns I've seen are the Mac OS "Disclosure Triangle", or in
> Windows quite frequently there will be a button with the label "Details
>>>" to expand or contract a dialog depending on the orientation of the
> brackets, or also a tiny button with a plus sign to perform the
> revelation. I'm sure there are more that I just haven't recalled or
> encountered.
>
> Of these, I think I'm more agreeable to the disclosure triangle, but I
> was just curious to see if anyone had come across or was working on more
> interesting patterns for this problem. I guess I just don't want to do
> what's easiest for the developer (i.e. me, in this case), but rather I'd
> like to explore some new patterns if they exist.
>
> Thanks in advance!
>
> evan k. stone | ux | dragnet solutions, inc.
>
>

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