wording on time and speed

25 Sep 2009 - 4:17pm
4 years ago
3 replies
803 reads
yunlingl@gmail.com
2009

Hi designers,

We have a software that allow user to change their preference on how
fast they want a certain things to show up. The current UI is a
slider with measurement units as milliseconds. e.g. , 500 msec. It's
too technically precise to be understood. I'm thinking to change it
to some simple texts, such as 0.5 second, immediate, or instant.

I wonder if there is some guideline or recommendation of the words
that are better understandable for users?

-Yun-Ling

Comments

25 Sep 2009 - 5:35pm
Jared M. Spool
2003

On Sep 25, 2009, at 2:17 PM, yunlingl at gmail.com wrote:

> We have a software that allow user to change their preference on how
> fast they want a certain things to show up. The current UI is a
> slider with measurement units as milliseconds. e.g. , 500 msec. It's
> too technically precise to be understood. I'm thinking to change it
> to some simple texts, such as 0.5 second, immediate, or instant.
>
> I wonder if there is some guideline or recommendation of the words
> that are better understandable for users?

Interesting.

Why would someone want a setting other than "fastest"?

Jared

26 Sep 2009 - 4:44pm
cfmdesigns
2004

On Sep 25, 2009, at 3:35 PM, Jared Spool wrote:

>
> On Sep 25, 2009, at 2:17 PM, yunlingl at gmail.com wrote:
>
>> We have a software that allow user to change their preference on how
>> fast they want a certain things to show up. The current UI is a
>> slider with measurement units as milliseconds. e.g. , 500 msec. It's
>> too technically precise to be understood. I'm thinking to change it
>> to some simple texts, such as 0.5 second, immediate, or instant.
>>
>> I wonder if there is some guideline or recommendation of the words
>> that are better understandable for users?
>
> Interesting.
>
> Why would someone want a setting other than "fastest"?

If you label it that way, no reason to want something else.

But if you label it with more detail, maybe there's a tradeoff? "Show
images low res (faster) / Show images hi res (prettier)", for
example. Although I would also say that unless there's a major
difference -- 3 seconds vs. 1 minute to draw things -- then the
"right" answer here may be for the designer to make a choice that
serves most users best and not foist it off onto the user. (It's sort
of like being too PC, isn't it: we don't want to offend anyone so we
put all the options out there as of equal value and let the user
muddle through.)

Stepping back a level, of course, is "Why the heck should it take long
enough to render your UI that you need to think about this choice?"
There may be a root design or architecture issue here which could be
resolved to solve this on a deeper level.

Back to the original question, though, unless your audience is
exclusively techies, "500 msec" either means "that's probably a huge
number, whatever it means" or they have to pause for a couple seconds
to decipher and evaluate what it means, and that's really bad for
efficiency. 0.5 seconds or 1/2 second would be much better for 99.9%
of the population.

-- Jim

25 Sep 2009 - 4:50pm
Anees Uddin
2009

I suppose the terminology you end up using depends on the type of
application it is as there is a great deal of choice out there. Two
obvious metaphors include the 'speedometer' and the hare and
tortoise story'?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=46085

Syndicate content Get the feed