Switch VS Checkbox in User Interface Design

Teaser image
switch and checkbox

On the Mac, toggle or switch widgets aren’t very common, yet. On iOS, you don’t see lots of checkboxes. This article on UX Movement points out that switches are for immediate actions while changes to checkboxes require a submit button to be pressed.

Now I think about preference panes in Mac apps. They usually perform changes to NSUserDefaults immediately. But using switches on a Mac still feels wrong. Maybe just because I’m not used to it, but still.

macOS’s Notification Center has a switch to toggle “Do not Disturb”. It works, but I don’t use it a lot, so there’s not much opportunity to get accustomed to it.

Conflicting Mental Models in TableFlip's Interface Design

A beta tester of TableFlip suggested I make the table grow automatically when one navigates to the edge of the table and presses the arrow key in direction of the edge. I am conflicted about this proposal. On one hand, being able to grow the table easily is important. Spreadsheet applications usually present you with an infinite canvas. This is behavior people know (and maybe even expect).

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Better Sliding Menus

In a recent usability post of Raluca Budiu, the common mobile app pattern of sliding menus is criticized: when the menu button is at the left edge and the content slides away to the right, then hiding the menu again requires the user to move her hand, and reading the menu items requires her to move her finger out of the way. With fat fingers, this is even more of a problem.

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