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535

This is the historical reason: (Concept drawing taken from document: VLSI-81-1_The_Optical_Mouse.pdf) The mouse, and therefore the mouse cursor, was invented by Douglas Engelbart, and was initially an arrow pointing up. When the XEROX PARC machine was built, the cursor changed into a tilted arrow. It was found that, given the low resolution of the ...


142

In addition to Bart's answer, I'd like to add one more reason. The reason the arrow was tilted to the left was so that the click position was easier to calculate, because the origin of the cursor's bitmap was in the upper left. This saved the mouse tracking subroutine a calculation on every click (its not much but it helped on older machines). Source


67

Low level visual cognition In addition to the various answers given, there is also sense in a tilted mouse pointer if one considers the visual processes in our brain. Visual information arriving from our eyes is first processed in the primary visual cortex by the V1 area, then by the V2 area. These two areas recognise low-level visual features (hue, ...


37

The "busy" cursor and "background busy" cursor are frequent sights in Windows. You say, "...I haven't seen a wait/busy/hourglass cursor in quite some time." I believe this is because you have grown accustomed to them and no longer notice. Open Microsoft Word (2010), click on the "File" ribbon and click "save." You will see the "busy" cursor flash a few ...


22

In case anyone wonders : some less known interfaces did use a straight arrow as pointed in Reddit


12

Also, there is another answer to this question. As a rule, the arrow mouse cursor must have one sharp tip (vertex) - because it is an arrow :) On the other hand, it is better for a mouse cursor to look good and slick. But drawing sharp tip on a rectangular pixel based display is very hard, especially without anti-aliasing. The 0 degrees (horizontal or ...


10

I've always thought that the arrow cursor is shaped similarly to your hand if you were point (naturally) at the screen with your (as typically dominant) right hand. I have no support of this other than my own subjective experience but it strikes me as a natural shape when trying to relate real world interaction into a low resolution computer screen where ...


8

Simple answer, it was Charles A. Kiesling Sr. He was my father and he did indeed write the code for the blinking cursor when he worked at Sperry. He passed away yesterday in Minneapolis at the age of 83. I remember him telling me the reason behind the blinking courser and it was simple. It was not because it looked like an "I". He said there was nothing ...


6

I think you and your co-worker are examples of those folks in the User Interface Conservatism versus Liberalism article. It's battle between liberal designer (you) and conservative designer (co-worker). What I really like in this article is: The problem with UI liberalism is not that it necessarily makes for bad interfaces. On the contrary, there ...


4

forcing focus to search could have negative usability implications towards screen readers and other accessibility tools. I would suggest against it - the only caveat being if a user navigates to the page from another link which is explicitly designed to "take the user to the search page" (like an "advanced search" link - assuming you can not provide the ...


4

Apple used to solve this in Carbon (on page 34) in two ways: 1. Use a double cursor When you are on a space between the LTR and RTL parts of the text and you type LTR characters, it will appended to the LTR part of the text, when you type RTL characters you will append it to the RTL part. The cursor is positioned at the end of the Arabic text and the ...


4

I would like to add to the above some technical reasons: In a form that has multiple fields, the page may for whatever reason load a bit later than when the user started to interact with fields, so when the page finally loads, you force cursor on search field while the user is typing in another field, you can imagine how frustrating that is, especially in ...


3

The one thing to be careful about when mixing onMouseDown behaviors is that user may want to drag and select the text (to copy the text for instance). So I think a better solution for you would be to keep the box interaction as just click to edit and have a drag icon on left/right which will allow the user to drag them. You could also do so that each of ...


2

The best practice is for your application interface to remain responsive, even if it is currently performing an operation (though this doesn't mean the user can actually do anything, other than possibly canceling the operation). Pretty much every development platform will have guidelines to this effect. The most common reason to encounter the hourglass ...


2

In desktop or web application the default cursor is always been a convention for a button, for example, in HTML the default cursor for the button object is the default setting: if you want a pointer, you have to specify it via CSS. It's all about affordance: the button object has a strong affordance, the user knows that it's an interactive object and how it ...


2

According to this article in wikipedia it was first used in HyperCard As to why it is used... well, why not? What could be more natural than the index finger to point at something?


1

MSDN states that the hand pointer is called the Link select and it is used for text and graphic links because of their weak affordance.


1

The Windows Guidelines for using these: The following table shows pointers that users see when performing an action that takes longer than a couple of seconds to complete. Busy pointer: Used to wait for a window to become responsive. Working in background pointer: Used to point, click, press, or select while a task completes in the ...


1

One of the main issues would be for keyboard navigation. Many users browse websites with keyboard and not a mouse / touch. For such users there is a reasonably common standard in place in websites known as a 'Skip Link'. Sometimes these links are visible to everyone (such as in the link above) and sometimes they're not displayed until you start tabbing ...


1

The issue is not restricted to search alone. It depends on the context. Many websites with login page will have the cursor automatically positioned in the first (username) field. This plays well when you have a streamlined experience. You know what the user's next step is going to be and you are making it a smoother, faster and better experience for the ...



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