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The Unavailable mouse pointer is always an option that's understood my millions of Windows users:


I would recommend using positive UI feedback to tell the user where dropping is allowed. For any specific selection, there are usually one or two regions which are valid drop targets. Highlight those and allow other areas to fade into the background. Here's an example from Atlassian Jira: Transitioning an Issue As soon as the user begins dragging the ...


Why don't you try something like this. Once the user clicks on the item to drag just highlight the valid and invalid sections like above. I would suggest you do it as soon as user clicks (before starting to drag), this will actually a pre cursor for the user, where to drop the item. In the approach mentioned by you, the user will actually drop the item ...


The "OS X Human Interface Guidelines" on drag-and-drop can be found here: https://developer.apple.com/library/mac/documentation/userexperience/conceptual/applehiguidelines/TechnologyGuidelines/TechnologyGuidelines.html#//apple_ref/doc/uid/TP30000355-SW9 The guidelines go into quite a lot of details, but you will want to highlight areas that the file can be ...


One idea: when the dragging starts, gray out the box and then if the user does drag over that region, make sure the mouse cursor indicates (red circle with a cross?) that region can't be dropped on. And extending that idea further: when the dragging starts use a red or gray to indicate it can't be dropped on, but also maybe use a green or some other ...


When you can, be redundant in your feedback. In this case you have 2 significant elements, the dropped item and the drop receiver, and both of those can provide feedback, get lighted up or tuned down. If drop isn't available make both the cursor indicate that and the (would be) drop receiver indicate that. The cursor can indicate that by become a circle ...


how about a border around the box with diagonal stripes. diagonal stripes, similar to construction tape will suggest to the user that this area is not usable at the moment.

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