Hiding behind a click

14 Mar 2006 - 2:26pm
8 years ago
7 replies
451 reads
AlokJain
2006

Dear All,

A lot of new interfaces (like GMAIL) have started hiding (for the lack of
better word) functionality behind additional clicks. Like one has to click
"CC" and "BCC" for these field to come up. Similarly fiter optiosn on the
top and so on..

Is anyone aware of any research done on this behavior v/s showing everything
upfront and in what scenario what works better.

Best Regards
Alok Jain
----------------------------------------------------------
User Experience Management Solutions
Satyam Computer Services Ltd.
Wahsington DC

Comments

14 Mar 2006 - 3:27pm
Baldo
2005

all the web 2.0 applications has massive show/hide javascript features..
flickr, remeberthemilk, google (with suggestion features) and so on..

this question involves all the new web applications.

> Is anyone aware of any research done on this behavior v/s showing everything
> upfront and in what scenario what works better.

14 Mar 2006 - 4:18pm
bhekking
2006

> A lot of new interfaces (like GMAIL) have started hiding (for the lack of
> better word) functionality behind additional clicks. Like one has to click
> "CC" and "BCC" for these field to come up. Similarly fiter optiosn on the
> top and so on..
>
> Is anyone aware of any research done on this behavior v/s showing everything
> upfront and in what scenario what works better.
>

It's likely that user research determined what features people need most of the
time, and used that knowledge to hide less common options (cc, bcc, etc) and
simplify the interface. The user research I've done focuses on determining the
most common/critical tasks so that the rest can effectively be tucked away.

Bret Hekking
Senior UX Designer | Applix Inc.

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15 Mar 2006 - 10:06am
AlokJain
2006

Wondering what everyone takes form this research:
http://psychology.wichita.edu/surl/usabilitynews/1s/searching.htm

--
Best Regards
Alok Jain
----------------------------------------------------------
User Experience Management Solutions
Satyam Computer Services Ltd. - Washington DC
http://www.satyam.com

15 Mar 2006 - 10:39am
Barbara Ballard
2005

On Mar 15, 2006, at 9:06 AM, Alok Jain wrote:
> Wondering what everyone takes form this research:
> http://psychology.wichita.edu/surl/usabilitynews/1s/searching.htm

The first thing that I take from it is that a lot of Internet
behaviors are likely to have changed in the past 7 years. The second
is that a key component of search result is how the back end works,
not just the user interface. I can, for example, type "703" and it
figures that I might be looking for an area code, and the first hit
tells me that 703 is Arlington County, VA. Third, just because a
user used a feature does not mean that the feature helped
successfully complete the task.

That being said, it looks like a majority of people - in Kansas,
where I am, and in 1999, where I am not - want to limit their search
to a single language. I wouldn't count on that behavior extending to
Europe, or even large portions of the US. Certainly not Quebec. I
think a cookie that stores preferred language(s) settable with a
simple UI would make many users feel better; it would also decrease
the number of hits for some of my more esoteric searches.

Note: I might provide a summary of number of hits in other languages
on the search results page, with an option to go look at those
(perhaps run through an automatic translator to see the results,
since we now know the user doesn't work with the language in question).

---
Barbara Ballard 1-785-838-3003
barbara at littlespringsdesign.com

15 Mar 2006 - 11:27am
Marcela Musgrove
2006

> Third, just because a
> user used a feature does not mean that the feature helped
> successfully complete the task.
> That being said, it looks like a majority of people - in Kansas,
> where I am, and in 1999, where I am not - want to limit their search
> to a single language. I wouldn't count on that behavior extending to
> Europe, or even large portions of the US. Certainly not Quebec. I
> think a cookie that stores preferred language(s) settable with a
> simple UI would make many users feel better; it would also decrease
> the number of hits for some of my more esoteric searches.

Well, I certainly wouldn't consider 7 college kids to constitute a majority
of people, even in Kansas so would wonder whether they continued with the
"further research" they mentioned would be needed to validate their results.
Their limiting the search to a single language would seem to be redundant
given that the majority of web pages are still in English, so if anything
I'd think limiting search to a single language would be more common outside
the US. Though Google has localized versions of its pages in other
countries, as does Yahoo, perhaps making the need less relevant.

16 Mar 2006 - 6:37pm
Peter Bagnall
2003

On 15 Mar 2006, at 15:39, Barbara Ballard wrote:
> That being said, it looks like a majority of people - in Kansas,
> where I am, and in 1999, where I am not - want to limit their search
> to a single language. I wouldn't count on that behavior extending to
> Europe, or even large portions of the US. Certainly not Quebec. I
> think a cookie that stores preferred language(s) settable with a
> simple UI would make many users feel better; it would also decrease
> the number of hits for some of my more esoteric searches.
>
> Note: I might provide a summary of number of hits in other languages
> on the search results page, with an option to go look at those
> (perhaps run through an automatic translator to see the results,
> since we now know the user doesn't work with the language in question).

You shouldn't need to resort to cookies for this kind of thing.
Browsers already tell the server about the users language preferences.
Typically this will be derived from the OS language setup when the
browser is installed but can be tweaked later. How reliable it is I'm
not sure. It's all comes under the general heading of content
negotiation. You can actually specify fairly complex preferences,
although I've yet to see a good UI for this. The idea is based on the
idea of quality factors. I might say that for m English is Q of 1,
meaning that's my perfect language, but German is 0.6 meaning I'll
accept German with a lower priority.

A search engine could in principle use those headers to customise the
search for you native language This is a feature that is not used that
often so far as I'm aware.

Cheers
--Pete

----------------------------------------------------------
A great war leaves the country with three armies; an army of
cripples, an army of mourners, and an army of thieves.
- German proverb

Peter Bagnall - http://people.surfaceeffect.com/pete/

17 Mar 2006 - 12:33am
Andrew Otwell
2004

Maybe. I think we often assume that Google doing thoughtful research
and careful examination of tasks, etc, because we assume a big
successful company *must* be working this way. In fact a number of
their recent projects look like a near random collection of ideas
(Google video? That RSS reader?) that weren't informed by user research.

Anyone on the list from Google care to comment? How have you felt
about the amount of upfront research you were able to do, and how
much ongoing interaction with users has informed updates to the
products?

> It's likely that user research determined what features people need
> most of the
> time, and used that knowledge to hide less common options (cc, bcc,
> etc) and
> simplify the interface.

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