Unexpected User Experiences: Help That Doesn’t Hurt

Excessive UI makes computing a drag. I am emptying the trash, and yes, I’m certain.

But sometimes UI help is right on time.

I draw stuff. Sometimes lots of stuff.

I like Gliffy. I use it for UI sketches. I use Balsmiq too. They’re both handy.

When I’m sketching with either tool I jump right to what matters – the interface itself. As you would expect, each time you draw something new, it’s placed in front of everything else.

When I’m ready to share my idea I create a window behind my UI sketch. I usually don’t draw the window first because I’m not sure how wide or tall it should be. And sometimes I just forget.

I was delighted by Gliffy because it automatically sends newly created window objects to the back. Controls in context, baby! The window object is treated differently from all other objects because it has a unique function. It’s function is (usually) to sit behind everything else.

Is it the right choice every time? Nah. But it saves me a click 95% of the time and I appreciate that. If I need the window in front for some reason I can always bring it forward.

Good Catch, Gmail.

I’ve been That Guy who send emails with attachments who forgets to actually attach the file. Thankfully, Gmail does it’s best to save me.

If I’ve typed “I have attached” in the message but haven’t attached a file, I get a reprieve.

If you’re in the business of attaching things other than email attachments, like human arms, maybe it’s really annoying. I wouldn’t know because I have never seen this message unless I needed it and I’ve always been thankful when it pops up.

Jump in the comments and tell me about unexpected UI behavior, good or bad.