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Column: Good Questions

UXmatters has published 15 editions of the column Good Questions.

Top 3 Trending Good Questions Columns

  1. What Is a Confidence Interval and Why Would You Want One?

    Good Questions

    Asking and answering users' questions

    A column by Caroline Jarrett
    November 7, 2011

    What is a confidence interval? I wanted to know that recently and turned to one of my favorite books: Measuring the User Experience, by Tom Tullis and Bill Albert. And here’s what they say:

    “Confidence intervals are extremely valuable for any usability professional. A confidence interval is a range that estimates the true population value for a statistic.”

    Then they go on to explain how you calculate a confidence interval in Excel. Which is fine, but I have to admit that I wasn’t entirely sure that once I’d calculated it, I really knew what I’d done or what it meant. So I trawled through various statistics books to gain a better understanding of confidence intervals, and this column is the result. Read More

  2. 7 Basic Best Practices for Buttons

    Good Questions

    Asking and answering users' questions

    A column by Caroline Jarrett
    May 7, 2012

    Here are my basic best practices for buttons:

    1. Make buttons look like buttons.
    2. Put buttons where users can find them.
    3. Make the most important button look like it’s the most important one.
    4. Put buttons in a sensible order.
    5. Label buttons with what they do.
    6. If users don’t want to do something, don’t have a button for it.
    7. Make it harder to find destructive buttons.

    Nothing particularly revolutionary there, right? Ever since the <button> tag arrived in HTML4, buttons haven’t been especially difficult to create. Despite this, it’s rather easy to find buttons that don’t comply with these basic best practices, so I’m going to dig into them a little deeper in this column. Read More

  3. Don’t Put Labels Inside Text Boxes (Unless You’re Luke W)

    Good Questions

    Asking and answering users' questions

    A column by Caroline Jarrett
    February 4, 2013

    Recently, I received the good news that one of my columns is in the UXmatters All-Time Top 25: “Don’t Put Hints Inside Text Boxes in Web Forms.” That was an unusual article for me because I came straight out and said, “Don’t.” Not “it depends”—just “don’t.” And it generated a lot of discussion—none of which changed my views.

    So, I’m going to do it again and say, “Don’t put labels inside text boxes.” Well, okay, what I’m actually going to say is, “Don’t put labels inside text boxes—unless you’re Luke Wroblewski.”

    And now, I think I’d better explain what I mean. Read More

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