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573

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 ...


249

Take your right hand and point to your question. There, you see.


148

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


100

As pointed out in comments and other answers, pointer trails were originally "intended for" and "especially useful if you [were] using a liquid crystal display (LCD) screen" in Windows 3.1. LCD monitors at the time were mostly passive-matrix, whose typically slower response times meant your cursor didn't have time to get redrawn as it moved across the ...


84

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, ...


63

The original purpose of the "mouse trails" feature, according to the Windows 3.1 documentation, was to make the mouse easier to track on the very-high-latency LCD panels used in early laptops, by ensuring that the pointer was drawn in each position for at least a full refresh cycle of the screen. It turns out that it also makes the mouse easier to ...


26

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


16

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 ...


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 ...


12

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 ...


8

The default Windows cursor (white with black outline) uses the red pixel as its hotspot. The default Mac cursor (black with white outline) uses the topmost pixel of the black arrow as its hotspot. Two down, and one to the right of the red pixel. As far as user intentions go, they are going to expect the cursor to act the same everywhere and not suddenly ...


3

Good question. The general rule of thumb is to show the text cursor when a section of the page is expected to be copied. The text cursor provides visual feedback that the user can highlight text or input text. So it should be displayed when the design calls for the user to interact with text. In your example of the tags text, the user really isn't supposed ...


3

I'm not sure I follow your argument, but to clarify things. Perception Perception is often defined as the conscious appreciation of sensation. Essentially, any input into the brain that hits consciousness (as opposed to your brain sensing that the CO2 in your blood is lower than normal). Experience There are quite a few definitions. The important ones: ...


3

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?


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 ...


1

As the W3C page says, the cursor means "help is available". Since it is contextual (it has to be, since it's directly attached to the mouse cursor and therefore is representational of whatever the cursor is pointing at), there are essentially two possibilities: The help is immediately shown along with the cursor (for example in the form of a tool tip), in ...


1

Material Design, being thought primary for Android (or better, for every kind of device, included touch screen ones), needs to let users know what the button status is and which kind of action will it do before they click or hover it (touch devices have not hover effect at all). So every element must have a clear style to being clear at glance, different ...


1

There's no need for a standard or best practice for this scenario. Reason being, there is no action; therefore, no specific cursor is needed. You have already correctly realized that it simply needs to be the default or pointer cursor due to the fact that it is consistent with the rest of the menu.


1

The hand cursor made one of its earliest appearances in Hypercard stacks. . Hypercard allowed hyperlinking between various pages within a document and this is where the use of the mouse cursor started.So, like a lot of things,so it perhaps it got picked up and carried along . With regards to its use in web design,perhaps the reason the hand icon was ...


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.



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