If a have a question concerning interaction design, and I want to illustrate with a live example - e.g. a quick prototype hosted on http://jsfiddle.net, would that be okay?

  • The live example could also perhaps be a screencast video demonstrating the interaction? – agib Nov 24 '11 at 11:17
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Live examples are extremely helpful, it immediately presents the context of your application or question and may give details you did not or could not give in the wording of your question. At the very least give a screenshot if possible.

Examples using JSfiddle are great, such as this question which involved a specific design. Giving feedback on that case would have been impossible without at least a screenshot. An important reason to give screenshots or JSfiddles is so we can reply with altered mock ups to "show our work", and if one of us can't edit Javascript or figure out JS at the very least we can alter a screenshot of the app in question.

Screencasts are similarly helpful as you could point out the exact problem, though I suspect they could fall prey to the "tl;dr" problem. If you have a specific behavior in an application you want to ask about and JSFiddle can't handle a mockup of your app it's a good visual way to present the issue.

  • Thanks! tl;dr = too long; didn't read? The reason for asking is really related to persistence. The author has to be careful to make sure the example stays live for future reference. – agib Nov 25 '11 at 8:29
  • I'm not sure what the philosophy of Stack Exchange says about persistence, but I suppose they favor text over images, because search engines only indexes the first one. Using imgshack as (non-persistent) Image Hosting also sends the signal: We don't want to make too much fuss about it, if it's not popular enough, it will die, so what? The intresting question is here, whether screenshots play an even more important role in UX than in SE? – giraff Nov 28 '11 at 9:11
  • @giraff our philosophy seems to support persistence, but mostly for text. We use Imgur instead of hotlinking images and I at least assume those images will persist as long as Imgur does. – Ben Brocka Nov 28 '11 at 14:28
  • The staying live problem can be resolved by giving enough information in the question for the answers to be understandable, but the live link assists in getting to a correct answer. – Schroedingers Cat Nov 30 '11 at 17:26
  • I understand the usability of live examples but oftentimes live example links go dead quickly. On Stackoverflow, such links may get your question or answer closed for that very reason. This whole quesiton becomes one big unknown without the links to YouTube. Has anything changed regarding this over the last six years? – Rob Sep 18 '17 at 12:32

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