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User Interface

UI Baffler: Outlook Reminders

Why is it that in the Outlook reminders dialog, the "Dismiss All" button is disabled if there are no reminder items selected?

Dismiss All disabled

Well clearly it is because that button is supposed to dismiss all of the selected reminders, right?

No, because if there is any selected reminder, clicking "Dismiss All …

UI Gem: Android Calendar Time Picker

It's been available for a while now, but every time I use the new Android calendar app's time controls, I'm so impressed by their elegance.

Previously, setting the time for a calendar event involved some simple numeric up/down spinners. Setting the hour worked reasonably well, but if your event …

UI Horror: Windows 8 BSOD

My PC is sad. I know this because of the frowny face. Unfortunately, I know not much more, because my PC won't boot, and Microsoft decided to provide as little information about the error as possible on their new BSOD screen.

Hmm... scary (but potentially useful) hexidecimal-laden error messages or …

Three Suggestions for the Android Calendar App

1. Two reminders

I want a reminder at the specified reminder time, and another one at the appointment start time. This is how it typically goes for me:

PHONE: Ding!\ ME: Oh yeah, I've got that meeting in 10 minutes. Let me just finish this little bit of code in …

UI Horror: Untrimmed Validation

Hmm... this zip code looks pretty good to me.

Validation Error

This was on the Discount Tire mobile site. It's awesome that you can schedule a service appointment on the web using your mobile phone. It's not so awesome that the form validation doesn't compensate for the trailing space that my phone's …

UI Horror: No-Paste Password Fields

Sure, it makes sense to disallow copying passwords from a password field, but disabling pasting is just being annoying.

News flash for developers doing this (such as Intuit, in TurboTax): I'm not thrilled about manually typing my 20 character random password. Just let me copy it from my password vault …

MessageBox: Just Say Nein

The Windows MessageBox is really convenient to use. A single line of code gets you a dialog box with a caption, a message, an icon and a set of available buttons that cover a lot of possible input scenarios. Unfortunately, the text on the buttons is supplied by the system …

It's Just UI

Maybe I've just imagined this -- created my own straw man to take down -- but I've sometimes sensed some disparagement of user interface programming. "It's just UI," the architect will say. "It's not like it's a hard or interesting part of the system." As I've done more and more UI development …

Transparent WinForms Label

Easy control transparency isn't exactly a hallmark of Windows Forms. If you have a form with a background image or a gradient, the stock controls paint with a solid background to give a criminally egregious aesthetic.

If you search the web for a solution, you might come up with a …

UI Horror: Birthdays

Last year I wrote about my dislike for cell phones. Despite that, I actually have one now. Maybe I'll write more about that at some point, but I was just recently reminded (irony to be revealed later) of a particularly sloppy user experience associated with adding birthdays to contacts and …