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Blinking, bouncing and flashing elements

Following my previous question, I have another question to ask of you.

We've been asked on this UI build to consider adding RSS feeds on the right hand side, similar to the one you can see on the new Facebook homepage (the scrolling thing in the top right) and sort of bouncing alerts (for lack of a better term) to get users attention.

Now, my question is that does this distract the user away from their main MO? These alerts will be essentially set up by the user to monitor their KPIs, so they see it that the user wants to know when their KPI is met; but if they log into the application to do something else, will they be diverted by these?

Also, will a scrolling RSS feed on the page cause distraction as well?

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marked as duplicate by dnbrv, ChrisF, JonW Aug 16 '12 at 7:51

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
check this question I made a while ago: ux.stackexchange.com/questions/15898/… –  Rdpi Mar 28 '12 at 9:20
    
In the current form, your question is too localized. But if you generalize it then it becomes @Rdpi's question. –  dnbrv Mar 28 '12 at 15:45
    
What's a KPI? I'm finding it hard to parse your third paragraph. In addition, does Rdpi's link answer your question? Unless there's some specific problem you/your users are having, I think we've covered a fair amount of ground on animated elements like this. –  Ben Brocka Mar 28 '12 at 16:06
    
@BenBrocka KPI is Key performance indicator. Yes, sorry. I did have a search for this sort of thing and could't find anything.. But yes, Rdpi did answer my question! I guess this can be closed as duplicate? –  Joshua M Mar 29 '12 at 8:08

1 Answer 1

Yes, bouncing and scrolling will be a distraction. However, is that part of the goal?

What I mean by that is if your goal is to direct the user's attention to something that requires them to do something then this "bounce" may be exactly what you need.

For example - if the feed is displaying real time status alerts of some critical (in what ever sense) system then the user needs to know straight away that something new has arrived which requires their attention. It may be that they don't act on it straight away, but that's not the point.

However, if the feed is just a news feed then bouncing will distract the user away from their usual task - not something you want to happen.

So, you need to determine what's the point of the feed and then decide whether "bouncing" is appropriate or not. What you might want to build in is some idea of severity or importance into these alerts. Low importance alerts wouldn't bounce, but high importance ones would.

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