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But, what if the user hasn't done anything?
January 31, 2013 12:28 PM   Subscribe

Most UI/UX experiences seem to concentrate on a busy user, but what if they are not? Empty States addresses how applications handle no content.
posted by Samizdata (21 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
MetaFilter has a "Your comment appears to be blank, go back and try again." page. You have to click Preview and then Post Comment to see it.
posted by oulipian at 12:31 PM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have never seen that. Cool.
posted by Samizdata at 12:33 PM on January 31, 2013



posted by 445supermag at 12:39 PM on January 31, 2013 [8 favorites]


You used to be able to see that page by including a 'posted by' wrapped in <small> tags anywhere in your comment. The cognitive dissonance produced by typing out a whole shpiel only to be told your comment looked blank was not insignificant.
posted by carsonb at 12:41 PM on January 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wyoming.
posted by Kabanos at 12:44 PM on January 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


The cognitive dissonance produced by typing out a whole shpiel only to be told your comment looked blank was not insignificant.

Oh, you were using MetaFilter: Charlie Kaufman Edition.
posted by theodolite at 12:44 PM on January 31, 2013 [4 favorites]


MetaFilter: The cognitive dissonance produced by typing out a whole shpiel only to be told your comment looked blank
posted by oulipian at 12:56 PM on January 31, 2013



posted by 445supermag at 3:39 PM on January 31 [1 favorite +] [!]


That's quite a bold statement.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:06 PM on January 31, 2013


I really like these collections of the same UX experience from all sorts of apps.
posted by GuyZero at 1:13 PM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Heh. As someone who spends a lot of time building UI from comps and wireframes I am ALWAYS having to ask designers about the empty state. Most of the time it's kind of a rushed afterthought.
posted by Artw at 1:29 PM on January 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


Screenshots of Despair (previously) has a lot of good ones addressing the same theme:
No one likes this (my favorite)
Nobody knows you
No one is interested in you
You have no friends
You have no future
There is no help available
posted by ardgedee at 1:41 PM on January 31, 2013 [6 favorites]


This made me feel proud of how I remembered to put in nice messages for the empty state in my app.

Also, people who liked this may also enjoy Little Big Details, which is about those tiny UX parts that make a difference.
posted by jacalata at 1:58 PM on January 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


This reminds me of a friend I had who, whenever he had finished a mathematical proof, would go through it from the beginning to verify that it was still valid, as written, if applied to ∅, the empty set. If it didn't, he figured there was probably a better (i.e. simpler or more insightful) proof yet to be found.
posted by benito.strauss at 3:03 PM on January 31, 2013 [4 favorites]


Artw: "Heh. As someone who spends a lot of time building UI from comps and wireframes I am ALWAYS having to ask designers about the empty state. Most of the time it's kind of a rushed afterthought."

You'll be pleased to know I've sent this (and screenshots of despair) round to my team then. Although we probably don't work in the same place, so the effect will be minimal. Sorry about that.
posted by Happy Dave at 2:35 AM on February 1, 2013


This is fantastic. Have Screenshots of Despair been posted to the blue before? It is especially fantastic.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 3:50 AM on February 1, 2013


You'll be pleased to know I've sent this (and screenshots of despair) round to my team then. Although we probably don't work in the same place, so the effect will be minimal. Sorry about that.

Heh.

I think it largely happens because designers want to produce comps that look good and so tend to populate lists with data that fits and looks good in that list - there's probably some competing effects where developersare over-focused on what happens if all the text is populated with the maximum number of lower case w's and other godawful situations that will only happen in test data.
posted by Artw at 6:32 AM on February 1, 2013


wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwhat like this?
posted by Kabanos at 6:45 AM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


/notes nice wrapping in mobile, nods approvingly.
posted by Artw at 6:47 AM on February 1, 2013


Artw: "so tend to populate lists with data that fits and looks good in that list"

We call that magic designer lorem ipsum.
posted by Happy Dave at 6:55 AM on February 1, 2013


> Have Screenshots of Despair been posted to the blue before?

See the "previously" link.
posted by ardgedee at 7:12 AM on February 1, 2013


We call that magic designer lorem ipsum.

Kinda. Lorem Ipsum is about having recognizable word shapes in your content without having recognizable words for people to get hung up on, which is a different problem than length of or existence/non-existence of that content.
posted by Artw at 10:45 AM on February 2, 2013


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