UI usability solution I am especially proud of

25 or so years ago we were designing one accounting application that required intensive input of numbers by operators.
That was in Russia at the time when personal computers were just appearing in offices massively.

Amount of numeric data that operators needed to input was enormous and as in any financial institution the requirement for correct input was very high.

Operators were quite professional and were doing very fast blind input by hands at the time when their eyes were focused on paper sheets with data.

In order to help them to verify their input I invented and implemented “musical” verification. When focus lefts numeric field, the application is playing melody where each digit has its own tone. I was surprises how effective it happened to be. At the end of first day operators were able to determine at least number of digits filled and after some time some of girls were even able to tell exact number by only hearing the melody.

Cool, eh?

Can I get checkboxes back somehow?

I think it is something wrong with modern variations of checkboxes. Consider this iOS version:

iOS checkbox

It is not clear is it in “On” state or you need to click on “On” label to switch it on?

But people from Windows 8 usability team went even further with their version:
Windows 8 checkbox

Am I the only one who think that this is completely non-intuitive?

The check box has to have two distinct visual styles telling its current state without need for the user to guess its state. IMO, old plain check mark is just perfect idiom for that, why do we need to reinvent the wheel here?

Usability of tree and paged lists

I’ve found first answer in this topic on StackExchange extremely representative.

That reminded me discussion we had when were designing the first version of Evernote application.

Initially the Evernote has UI organized as “endless tape of notes”. Here is one of sketches that I did at that time:

Challenge there was to provide UI that allows the user to find notes quickly without need of excessive scrolling.

Each note may have so called tags (a.k.a. labels) assigned. By clicking on tag (left side bar) the tape will get filter applied – only notes with such tag are shown.

By expanding the tag (“+” sign) you can see intersection of notes that have this tags and some others. For example here click on hello->world (on the left) will give you set of notes with the condition has-tag:"hello" AND has-tag:"world" (see top bar):
Note tape with filter applied

And if you type “wonderful” in the search field you will get filter has-tag:"hello" AND has-tag:"world" AND has-text:"wonderful" applied.

This will give you single note:
tape with text filter

Pretty convenient I would say.