Questions relating to the use of the common pointing device.

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437
votes
7answers
176k views

Why is the mouse cursor slightly tilted and not straight?

Is this a legacy thing or does a tilted cursor serves a purpose? I can tell that, the angle provides a totally vertical left edge which helps when highlighting text but what else apart from that? ...
52
votes
10answers
8k views

Is it safe to assume everyone uses / has mouse wheels?

Is it safe to assume all users are aware of using the mouse wheel to scroll and that all users have a mouse wheel on their mouse? I'm hoping to implement a scrollbar which stays hidden even when you ...
47
votes
9answers
8k views

Should a button become lighter or darker on hover?

We're having a discussion in the office about whether a button should become lighter or darker when a user hovers over it. Here are some examples from the field: Apple "Buy Now" button (Second is ...
34
votes
14answers
4k views

Should double click be avoided in web applications?

I find that double click is a great gesture that could be successfully used in graphical interfaces but for some reason has negative connotation on the web. Should it be avoided at all costs?
26
votes
6answers
855 views

Should I use the terminology left/right click?

When instructing users which mouse button to click an element with, it standard practice to use the phrase 'left/right click': To download the file, 'right click' the link and choose 'Save Target ...
23
votes
5answers
1k views

How do you use an icon to represent 'click once' (not twice) [closed]

I need to teach my users to use issuu.com's interface -- click once to zoom in. If they double click, it zooms in then out again. I can't change issuu's component so want to add something on my web ...
22
votes
5answers
3k views

Are there any recent studies of the “Keyboard vs Mouse”-issue?

Back in the late 80's, Apple Human Interface concluded that the mouse is faster than the keyboard, objectively. But also that every test person subjectively thought that the keyboard was faster. ...
17
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the expected timeframe of a double click?

In the web application, the user draws a polygonal area on a map each click setting a vertex. A double click allows the user to finish the area. Due to technical circumstances, I have to detect double ...
14
votes
3answers
673 views

Is Shift+Click for item selection a historical mistake?

I recently encountered a proof of concept demonstration which used the mouse to "drag and select" multiple items in a list. The current, widely accepted solution for multiple item selection is to ...
14
votes
8answers
992 views

When is double-clicking appropriate for the web?

I recently saw a website that required the user to double-click an item in a scrolling list to 'open' it for editing. It surprised me, as I don't usually think double-click is appropriate for ...
14
votes
4answers
501 views

When is it a good idea to perform actions on mouse-down *as opposed to click/mouse-up*?

I've grown used to the GUI paradigm of pre-select on mouse-down, action on mouse-up. In fact, I rely on it, sometimes canceling an unwanted action after mouse-down by dragging outside of the click ...
10
votes
2answers
813 views

Who invented the blinking cursor

I was wondering who invented the blinking of a cursor, because I was just thinking if it wouldn't blink the UI would be a lot less responsive.. so this must have been one of the first signs of ...
10
votes
8answers
637 views

How can I make it obvious that a page element is to be hovered over?

On my webpage I have five boxes containing the names of each step in a five step process. When the user hovers over one of the boxes, it expands and shows text explaining that process. How can I ...
9
votes
6answers
409 views

Which is more important, less mouse distance to travel or visual consistency?

I have an interface that I am currently working on that asks the user to make a choice of a single item. These items are divided into 3 separate categories and the client has insisted that each ...
9
votes
3answers
470 views

Multiple Monitors and screen corners

Most people in my workplace have multiple monitors with the primary monitor being to the left of the secondary one, and I have noticed that they have trouble closing applications. Generally, the ...
8
votes
4answers
709 views

Mouse wheel interaction with nested scrollbars

Nested scrollbars (a scrollable area within another scrollable area) present some unfortunate difficulties, mainly when scrolling trough them with the mouse wheel. Whether such scrollbars are a good ...
8
votes
2answers
248 views

Is there any research into the cost of switching between using a keyboard and a mouse?

My intuition and own experience tells me keyboard shortcut keys can be faster than using the mouse. However, some tasks like browsing the internet or a folder hierarchy truly benefit from using a ...
8
votes
1answer
138 views

What are the costs of forcing a switch between mouse and keyboard?

If a user is entering text at a keyboard, then is forced to use their mouse for something (e.g. clicking a button in a modal dialog), what are the time and cognitive costs of that? Similarly, when ...
7
votes
2answers
183 views

Any cheat sheet available that shows UX match between mouse events and touch events?

I am supposed to make a web App UI Design which can be used through PC and Tablet. I am looking for a cheatsheet or link where mouse events and touch events are matched? Eg. A mouse click on PC is ...
7
votes
1answer
367 views

Easiest cursor move?

In relation to making a pie-menu. I've tried finding research on this, but to no avail. My reasoning is this: Put the most used features at the easiest places (although putting opposites.. opposite ...
6
votes
2answers
617 views

What is the purpose behind mouse acceleration?

Windows XP enables it by default, I don't know about vista or 7, in Mac OS X you have to buy a shareware to remove both mouse acceleration AND accelerated scrolling. Why are those things always ...
6
votes
4answers
209 views

Hide controls on a touch enabled device and only show them if someone uses a mouse?

We're building a responsive web site and we're having a discussion about how to display controls on a map. The theory is that people with touch-enabled devices do not need to see zoom sliders because ...
6
votes
3answers
814 views

Why are different cursors used when hovering over buttons in Gmail?

In the Gmail interface they are not consistent in which cursor they use on button/link hover. They use the "hand" pointer for: Links in the sidebar(mail, contacts, inbox, starred etc..) The mails ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

When to use reversed/mirror arrow cursor?

Is there an established pattern for when to use a reversed (right-pointing) arrow? I most frequently notice it in Outlook on part--but not all--of messages in my inbox: My Google-fu failed at finding ...
6
votes
2answers
580 views

Shading buttons darker than the normal state vs. highlighting

While coding up pieces of a website, I was puzzled as to why the designer chose a hover state that is a shade darker than its normal state. It seems logical to me that a rollover state should be a ...
6
votes
2answers
813 views

Is there any research available about the speed of working with a mouse vs. working with a trackpad?

I ask this because of a friend who never hooks up a mouse to his laptop because he claims he can work just as fast with a trackpad as with a mouse. My personal experience is the other way around. I ...
5
votes
5answers
419 views

What is the optimal position for a right click menu?

We're in the middle of designing a web application with a right click menu, and I was thinking where to position it relative to the position of the cursor. There are different solutions: Solution ...
5
votes
9answers
825 views

Should web mega-menus that open OnClick close OnClick or Mouseout?

I have been doing some research on this site regarding whether a mega menu on a web site should activate/deactivate via hover or click. I found a question with good answers regarding actuating the ...
5
votes
5answers
572 views

How to inform user that he can use mouse wheel to interact with an object?

On a website I have a map-like gizmo and list-like object. Both has their controls - the map has a google-map-like zoom giozmo and the list has simplified scroll bar. But both can be navigated using ...
4
votes
1answer
880 views

Why does the mouse cursor switch direction over line numbers in programming IDEs?

When you mouse over line numbers in IDEs, such as Visual Studio or Notepad++, the mouse cursor is flipped horizontally. I can't think of a reason this would be a ubiquitous user interface decision. ...
4
votes
3answers
6k views

So how big is the mouse pointer?

In the research of creating a design standard for touch applications, the size of the average finger pad comes up as an important figure (1cm x 1cm) But what about the interaction method we have been ...
4
votes
6answers
777 views

UI design with MINIMUM number of clicks

Project : ASP.NET with C# Client side : JavaScript and jQuery Consider the scenario, I have a number of user to use the software. I will classify them into different groups. Then, I would like to ...
4
votes
7answers
288 views

How can I lead users to and use an unusual navigation

So, I'm making someone a high concept website. Basically, there's one of those old fashioned television sets with circular nobs, like those on a stove, to change the channel. You turn the nob, it ...
4
votes
6answers
395 views

What's the term for imprecision in mouse and touchscreen clicking?

I've noticed in some tasks that require very fine precision with the mouse, that the act of physically clicking the button is sometimes enough to move the mouse. In an extreme case, I watched an ...
4
votes
2answers
235 views

Measuring “point and click” accuracy/speed of mouse vs trackpad

Are there any quantitative experiments that have studied (or that can be used to study) the usability of the trackpad vs the mouse, for the task of point and click? vs Say, for example, that we ...
4
votes
3answers
453 views

Mouse scroll wheel should target focus or hover?

I've noticed an inconsistency with controls responding to scroll input. Different OSs (and even different programs within the same OS) behave differently. Here's the scenario:- Imagine you have two ...
4
votes
3answers
310 views

Is it OK for scrolling interactions to not scroll content?

This is a general question about scrolling behavior with a trackpad or mouse. I've been discussing this with my peers, and it's become quite a debate. Our conversations are specifically about the ...
3
votes
3answers
716 views

How Many Clicks for Given Action?

I am designing a web app in which people can come in and rate "objects" and comment on them. I know that the easier it is for the user to perform the main activities the better, but I was wondering if ...
3
votes
6answers
504 views

What do you call that interfacing zone?

What would you call the surface of contact which can activate an element when it passes over it. For example, the area that's covered is different whether you use a stylus, a finger or a mouse. In ...
3
votes
3answers
288 views

Why have two mouse buttons when one is sufficient?

Alternatively, why have only one mouse button when you can fit two into the same space? This is a question that a friend asked me during one of those silly Mac vs PC arguments that still happen for ...
3
votes
3answers
221 views

What is the expected result for mouse inputs in web based applications?

Clearly left-click is the most common, but how often are others like right-click and double-click used? What is the distribution frequency of those inputs? What is the expected result of those mouse ...
3
votes
1answer
132 views

Snapping to grid

What is a good threshold for a UI which allows users to place objects, snapping them to a grid? 25% of the grid size? Less or more? Should the user be able to change this?
2
votes
6answers
303 views

Button Action: Left Click vs. Right Click

Has anyone ever seen the following design pattern in use, and if so, is there ever a good time to use it? (Button) labeled "Do Something" [User] left-clicks on (Button) [System] action A (Add) is ...
2
votes
2answers
140 views

Hijacking the mouse pointer on context menus

Is this a good idea to hide the cursor, or maybe constrain its move to a vertical move, when the user has invoked a context menu? A context menu is basically unidimensional, so it makes sense to drop ...
2
votes
3answers
399 views

Is it safe to adopt idea of double-click on a radio button? [closed]

(I have first noticed this with MS Office applications, but I have seen it also ...somewhere in Gnome, I can't remember where...) The idea If a dialog pops up that basically asks you to choose only ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Why are keyboards, Mouses designed to make sound when pressed and clicked?

Why are PC keyboards designed to be audible when they are pressed? That, IMHO, is a totally unnecessary thing as it generates noise that might disturb a peer who is studying nearby. The other thing ...
2
votes
2answers
171 views

What is the standard practice for a mouse-over “highlight” of a picture that is under the cursor?

I'm displaying several photographs. The user then selects (clicks) on one of them. I'd like to have a mouse-over highlight of the one they are "on". The photographs : are on a background the color ...
2
votes
2answers
538 views

Double-click on toggle buttons

I've witnessed a lot of old people double clicking on hyperlinks and buttons when a single click would suffice. This odd behavior would be troublesome for buttons that toggle a state. Take for example ...
2
votes
3answers
243 views

Are 12000 dpi laser mice overpowered for the human wrist?

So I've seen laser mice become more and more powerful over time, with newer models supporting increasing levels of "DPI". The latest ones I've seen support up to 12000 dpi. But what does this mean? ...
2
votes
1answer
619 views

Who created the Mac Mickey pointer cursor?

I just found out why the mouse cursor is slightly tilted*, and asked myself why the pointer cursor is a little Mickey hand. Do you guys know why is it like this and who invented it? Related ...