Dmitry from usabilitypost.com picked up this great usability tip. It compares the labels on buttons in Windows and Mac, and explains why it makes more sense to use the verb on the label in Mac.
In Windows dialog approach (Yes, no or cancel) but a user has to read the whole dialog to determine what to do next, versus a Mac user can just glance through the button labels and know what to do. The difference is small and subtle, yet it demonstrate in every single little detail, there is always room for better design.
I use reddit, digg a lot to get the latest news, watch funny stuff and you know, waste time. Besides those two, Mixx.com is another information aggregation site that I like. It has some really nice features like story tagging, drag and drop page editing and local news setup. However, it is just not one of the site that I don’t frequently go to even I like it.
I don’t really know the reason. Maybe reddit and digg has given me more than enough news and stories that I need on a daily basis. But I do think the design of the Mixx.com home page has something to do with my lack of using it and it should be improved.
Not allocating the prominent space to the stories
On Mixx home page, the logo and navigation menu take up most of space. Below it is the popular photos section. Frankly I think these small photos with no description or a headline is a waste of the space. The actual submitted stories are pushed down below in kind of in a “mix” which does not draw immediate attention. Reddit and digg, are doing much better on present the popular storied using the good part of the page and big font.
Not emphasize the stories
Social news site is about stories. Digg and Reddit, though have the totally different approch on designing their home page, both show that the stories and contents have the highest priority. Both show a lot of headlines, emphasize the titles (using the noticable font on the page), and made sure visitors can get tight into it from the home page. On the contrary, Mixx shows less and tuck them in below the fold. And the short titles are unattractive, at least to me. This may be related to the Mixx users who actually submit the story, but I think Mixx should encourage the submitters to put more content in the title like a lot of redditors do.
I have a Dell Inspiron 1000 laptop which was mainly used by my wife for checking emails and some casual web surfing. I installed Xubuntu on it hoping to get the best performance out of the limited horsepower that this old laptop has. It worked OK, until I changed my wireless network security from WEP to WPA.
I found out Xubuntu doesn’t have the support for it. To better phrase it, to get WPA working in Xubuntu, I have to install some 3rd party software like wpasupplicant and make some configuration changes to get it working. Later versions of ubuntu might “just works” as described in this doc, but there seems to be issues around it.
After following the steps in one of the forum thread and failed to make it work I quit. I have to say I didn’t try very hard at it but I didn’t think spending hours on this laptop just to make wireless working made much sense, with work, business and my 2 year old I am not that kind of geek who spend days to get dialup modem working on my Linux machine any more. So I ended up putting XP (Gasp back on this machine. As a matter of fact, when XP runs with least graphic candy the performance is on par with Xubuntu running in graphic mode.
I am a person who is pretty familiar with Linux, as a matter of fact I use it every day. I like it. I would recommend it. But do I think it is ready for a average home PC user? No. It is just not simple enough to get some basic things to work. It could be a great OS to be installed in a more uniformed environment, like a lab in a university or an office environment.