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I plan on releasing site a new site in a few months. I made some "favicon rain" just for fun... basically a 16px by 16px favicon in circle form appears at some random x position on the screen, floats down the screen, and then fades out near the bottom. This then repeats for a new favicon and a new random position x.

Should I leave this there or take it out?

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"don't know if this is pertinent to UX". Ask that question. Does your 'favicon rain' enhance the user experience of the user? Or does it distract? Often things done 'just for fun' are bells and whistles that the client may love, but usually don't benefit the end-user a whole lot. –  DA01 Aug 3 '12 at 21:14
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I wanted to click them so bad as they fell, like some sort of challenge. I would take this out. Mine the data, pop the top 10 most 'favorited' sites to some top 10 list. Have a most recent favorited sites, etc. Definitely more relevant yet still fun. –  drawtheweb Aug 3 '12 at 21:26
    
It would make a good game like missile command...when you click on it it tells you the domain and disappears...I might make it an option...but make it obvious where they come from...so you can click them off it it bothers you... –  user16832 Aug 3 '12 at 21:52
    
I guess I could see favicon missile command as an April Fools joke, though April Fool's jokes are usually bad UX, especially on professional sites aimed at users trying to get work done (i.e., as opposed to webcomics, game sites, entertainment/humor sites, etc.). –  Brian Aug 6 '12 at 15:55
    
I'll probably just make it an easter egg...I write goofy animations when I get bored of coding more difficult things...good advice –  user16832 Aug 6 '12 at 18:54
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2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Take it out; it serves no purpose and is a distraction. It is just big enough to draw my eye and make me spend mental processing power asking, "what is that?" Having the mouse turn into a cursor on mouseover is also very confusing.

It does not improve usability, and is not visually pleasing. Why would you want to keep it!?

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to keep the site fresh and relevant...they are user generated favicons..i.e. sites users have favorited...twitter does this by rotating pictures in/out...but they don't seem related to tweeting in an way ( cricket? buildings? )...at-least favicons are relevant to my application...I agree on the cursor though. –  user16832 Aug 3 '12 at 20:51
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To keep a site fresh and relevant, have fresh and relevant content. –  DA01 Aug 3 '12 at 21:15
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If you want to show user-generated favicons, have a small, unanimated bar of them somewhere. I still think it's useless, but at least it isn't as distracting. –  Brian Aug 3 '12 at 23:20
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Make it off by default...but make an option to turn it on...

Possibly make it into a simple game of missile commander but with favicons...by setting event listeners to the click an hover properties of the icon.

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That's kind of going from bad to worse. Is the site a game, or is there a different purpose? I'm guessing the latter. Focus on that instead. –  DA01 Aug 3 '12 at 22:05
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so the annoyed user can get rid of it quickly - Something like that should be off by default. The idea is that the user doesn't get annoyed in the first place. –  animuson Aug 3 '12 at 22:06
    
O.K point taken...off by default... –  user16832 Aug 3 '12 at 22:53
    
what if it was a game and a productivity app? –  user16832 Aug 3 '12 at 22:55
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No, don't make it an option. Adding an option means more code to maintain and more options to present to the user. If you really want to have pointless features like this, make them easter eggs. That way, you can satisfy your urge to have pointless features, can add more pointless features (i.e., the fact that it is an easter egg is itself a useless feature), and can avoid annoying users who don't care about useless features. Google "Do a barrel roll" (sans quotes). Totally pointless, but I don't mind it because it never actually happens to me when I am trying to actually use Google. –  Brian Aug 3 '12 at 23:25
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