Try a few for yourself:
- https://www.nhs.uk/ (833kb)
- https://www.gov.uk/ (428kb)
It’s kind of sad to see the cookie warning on first visit to an NHS page—from an accessibility point of view. If you’re sick and maybe older and you go to find some health information, the first thing you want to see isn’t “We’ve placed some small files on your computer called cookies. Are you okay with that?” It’s an almost nonsensical, bizarre question for anyone who isn’t an IT expert.
There is always a choice. It is not the law that makes them display this, it is their choices that made them need to comply to the law.
I guess you’re worried about it being used more nefariously, especially by the third-party trackers themselves. If so, I’m also a little concerned about that, but I think the good probably outweighs the bad.
I am aware that they are doing this to improve their website, but I don't get why so many are saying that it is because of the EU law or that it is a bad law.
Yes they have to show this dialog because of the law, but they decided that it is worth it for their analytics. That was their decision. They could also have said that they would be fine with less analytics and less tracking and gotten rid of the dialog. It can also not see why it is a bad law since it is exactly doing what it is supposed to do: Prevent or inform about tracking by the Tech giants. M$ and Google don't really have a huge amount of trust from the general public that their tracking is the good kind.
I'm surprised you assumed it was GDPR since the cookie popups have been around for years and are hard to miss.
Those cookie popups have been a misinterpretation in the first place, the general recommendation for them already redacted by the one data protection agency that first formulated that consequence as requirement based on the regulation from way back then. They are completely out of date now. Note also how the site you link does not require them - it instead completely blocks the site when cookies are not allowed by the user, which is a different beast.
If they removed the Social Media and Third Party tracking cookies they could remove the dialog completely.
Have you run user testing to see if people who lack IT skills find cookie warnings confusing?
Do you think it would have been missed by Gov.UK's own user testing?
If you don't like tracking you can come out and say that rather than couch it in the language of some voiceless 'confused' IT user.
You'd likely be on former ground too - as the Gov.UK site sets more or less a gold standard for usability.
Besides that, even if you tracked using server logs you are likely using PII so would still need the same warning anyway.
I’ve cherrypicked a few here and there for a number of projects and they’ve worked well.
> but, while hamburgers are used on a lot of websites and apps, they aren’t universally understood
Again the fashion for extreme flatness, with square icons and buttons that disappear into the background are shown to be counter productive and user hostile.
They might "look nice" to some lead designer, but they don't work as well.
Now, if only Google, Microsoft et al were to wake up to this.
The icons the NHS have used seem to nod to hospital signage too - the arrow, the proportions etc. Probably intentional, working from the same start point, but not mentioned here.
Any sources for this? I tend to share this sentiment, but have never really read too deeply into it.
> They might "look nice" to some lead designer, but they don't work as well.
To further this, I think it is important to acknowledge too that these design decisions are not made exclusively because they "look nice." There is value in "sameness" when you are competing with other products/brands/sites that have already established a certain style, convention or pattern. After all, we learn and orient ourselves by subconsciously comparing new experiences with ones we've already had. So when you experience similar patterns in a new interface, it drastically decreases the cognitive load in learning how to use it. To your point though, there is a fine line in how effectively you can push simplicity, and there are many subtle visual variables beyond the reductionist square button that could help to improve legibility of elements as distinct components that are largely ignored in current trends.
> We also found arrow icons highlight ‘action’ links for users wanting to find help. They're noticeable but, unlike buttons, users actually read the link.
I think it just depends, some things we think are UI affordances aren't, I'm not sure it's just minimalism vs not. Just that you gotta test.
Well done, ad people. I hope you didn't kill anyone.
This seems to invite its own study.
The bigger problem about these nag screens is the poor UX. I often just accept the defaults because it is far, far quicker than trying to find the Opt out option. I especially hate sites that then take you to a config screen to pick and choose from providers. All I want is a binary Yes or No, with each option getting equal equivalence in the UI.
That is why opt-out is illegal.
> Many sites outside EU jurisdiction still abide by EU privacy/cookie laws.
is completely wrong. I would not be surprised if those popups put many sites out of compliance because they mean that the site is targeted at EU citizens.
If I understand it, the mind does not look closely at every line of every letter but reads it in outline. So a word is not much more cognitive load than an icon.
There is no learning curve, as with icons. With icons, the problem is not recognizing what the icon looks like (an envelope!) but what it means within the application (I'm looking at you, GMail).
Selfishly, as a developer, text labels are easier than a folder full of image assets. But I don't feel bad about it, because it's better for the user too.
DISCLAIMER: These are not absolutes. There are exceptions. The article's tack is reasonable. I'm saying that icons are overused in general.
Scaling this to a website that serves people internationally and needs to have a consistent branding is much harder than using an icon.
There is a learning curve, it's just one you climbed when you learned the language (which may not be your own).
In this example, "Home" in english doesn't always just refer to somebody's primary residence, we also use it as a descriptor or prefix (hometown).
In china, the direct translation for "home" probably isn't also used as a descriptor, which means that they aren't used to using "home" in a more figurative sense.
They also do Welsh.
You may find this article, where they talk about using local slang instead of formal words: https://digital.nhs.uk/blog/transformation-blog/2019/pee-and...
Where the whole icon thing sort of works, is with tools where the words won’t be able to communicate what a tool means anyways and. when there are too much for (e.g. the tools in photoshop)
It's also a neat way to resolve issue with text-only buttons in multilingual software. From time to time, I find myself in front of an OS, an app or a website that's familiar to me, but is set to a language I don't know. Having an icon next to the text is very helpful then. That said, it's a rare case, so if I had to choose just one, I'd prefer text over icons.
Imagine that users of an NHS website are infrequent at best with a large number of new users.
Also shows how important it is to test with real users.
Real important mail is usually in a plain white envelope, with first-class postage.
I would gladly pay $2 per stamp if it meant obliterating junk mail. Hell, charge me $5 a month just for the privilege of not receiving any. Just, somehow figure out what the true cost of delivering my mail is, and allow me to pay it instead of having to trash all the “subsidy” crap.
It shouldn't matter. Last 10 years or so, my cards had to be activated online first, before becoming useful.
Requires someone able to intercept the post (eg corrupt postal employee or subcontractor), and the ability to create a convincing replacement envelope/letter, but it is all achievable, and I expect not everyone will properly scrutinise the envelope/letter/card for signs of tampering. Even for me, with a new card only once every 3 years or so, how can I tell the difference between their letter being tampered with and them just using a new/slightly different design?
It may also be possible to pick the card up at the bank (instead of post delivery). I did that once before, too.
Doesn’t stop all crap, but certainly most, as the stuff sticking out my neighbours boxes without a “No ads” label proofs
Hospitals are a mess, public transit is usually unnavigable, and almost all websites have so many friction points in the name of design that they literally become unusable in so many 'edge' cases.
Each and every videogame has a lot information to learn about it. Game mechanics, interactions, that sort of thing. Games are wildly different in these aspects, so why would icons of all things be worth nitpicking here?
Since games are so different having unique icons makes total sense, since I can associate them with whatever unique mechanics of the game.
> a game is often something you move on from quickly and on to the next one
For you, maybe. I have 1400 hours in dota, and almost 1500 in tf2. Over time as one gets acclimated to a game, having icons is really helpful for quickly scanning/displaying information, etc.
Videogames have the problem of needing to visually display a lot of data, and needing to have good menus to traverse among its information/mechanics. Some games have really bad menus but I can't recall icons being the main issue in any of them. A bad menu is almost always one with options in confusing places or hiding a commonly-used option behind 4+ clicks, etc.
With a typical application GUI you usually want to get some stuff done and the program is the thing you chose for the job. This means unless you really plan to learn that thing, every friction that program needlessly puts on reaching your objective is gonna piss you off.
This is btw. the same in Games, if e.g. the graphics settings don’t work as expected etc
Some webapps offer videogame-style guides on the first launch - I'm thinking of e.g. UI tours that highlight elements and tell you what they do. It's a good pattern.
While experimentation will always have a driving force, standardization allows a program to lower the barrier of usage to everyone. Especially to those who are not a typical HN user but rather like your stereotypical parents.
Games are not about getting stuff done, so people enjoy learning how it works, which in its own way reduces friction.
(However, I can't find the social sharing buttons on that article!)
Nobody was sharing their colonoscopy highlights reel.
Sorry for sounding like this but I'm not very happy that the NHS is spending money on these first world problems, when there are people who cannot get seen with life threatening illness.