Category Archives: Coding

I’ve been agonising over a particular usability issue for weeks, and in the absence of a focus group budget I decided to blog it. Perhaps you can help me form a better opinion on this.

It concerns the presentation and default behaviour of a ‘download’ link. The file could be of any type, but is generally implied to be large. My dilemma is whether to force the file to download, or let the browser handle it. Both seem to have their problems depending on the type of file, but worst of all people seem to be hugely divided over both their preference and their expectation of what will happen by default when they click it.

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Take a look at this screen shot from my Google Analytics dashboard.

These are all click-throughs from tweets. They are all referred by Twitter’s URL shortener ( Unfortunately this data is fairly useless. I’d like to know who the influential tweeters are and what the tweets said. I could search Twitter for the full URLs, but Twitter search is – quite frankly – rubbish for this.

My initial reaction to this vague and seemingly obfuscated data was annoyance, but after doing some research I now see that this data is actually a bonus. That doesn’t mean it can’t be improved though.

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