Some sites do. Some even repopulate the form when you click back - browser cache, I guess. In this case, the POST request brought me to a blank page and clicking back and/or a page refresh resulted in the error msg after I told the dialog to go ahead and resend the data. So then I logged in again and it was gone. Maybe I'll never forget to cover my ass again. I'm hyper and in a hurry, so I say that tongue in cheek.
Here's a good one. I'm looking at your post after seeing it in email. I notice that the last time I posted I could find the option to reply or reply with quote and this time I only find reply with quote. "WTF?", says mike's left brain - his right brain is slightly out to lunch today. So I click the only option and it tells me I'm not logged in. Ok. that wasn't a big deal, and now both options are there. But why even put the "reply with quote" option there instead of "log in to reply"?
Here's another good one. I had to change my gmail background color. Anyone out there have an LCD (maybe mine is LED, but whatever) monitor with the matte screen? Gmail changed their user interface and copycatted the lovely new style of using the absolute lightest shade of grey border around check boxes and text fields. You know those little check boxes you use to mark messages for deletion or move to? They show up on my LT monitor, but not my new one. So I switched to a black background. It'd be interesting to play with different themes and colors just to learn how NOT to design a UI.
Sure enough. Sitepoint is guilty, also. The aforementioned login to reply - sure enough, there's the login button. It's draws the eye like a moth to flame. You can't see a border around the username and password fields. The words inside those fields are darker than most sites, like you see in search boxes where it says "enter search terms here". With that shading, experience takes over and you expect it to disappear when you click in the box. Here, the text inside the boxes with no apparent outline is dark enough that it just looks like more text - noise. My brain filters noise. Second time I got caught on this. Expecting the login button to bring me to a login page, I clicked it. Oops! 1 out of 5 attempts.
This might not seem related to a simple login form, but there's a good article out there somewhere on a study done to determine the best way to layout and style a user input form. In a nutshell, an eye scan study was conducted and the conclusion was that top to bottom ordering is the most efficient and it's what users expect - I'll add to that - despite the plethora of handwritten forms designed to utilize every square millimeter of paper while leaving no room to write the requested info. Also, it was concluded that right justified label text on the left side of the input field also resulted in easier reading and less eye movement. Makes sense.
I treated myself to a xmas present back in 2010. I held out 'til the last day and sitepoint brought together their final offer. 5 books for $25. I got my money's worth. Principles of Beautiful Web Design was one. It goes beyond merely how to make a good looking page. It touches on color schemes (which I knew, but it concisely summed it all up for me), the psychology of colors, and yup, eye scan and how to direct the user's eye to scan a page to find what they want (or what YOU want them to do). Definitely a good read. THe other 4 books were also worth it.
Hey Tom, nice background. I think I'll read those two articles or more. Experience has shown that even the most basic beginners books can reveal a salient point or some other golden nugget of info.
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