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536

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, ...


35

Double-clicking on the web should be avoided because it goes against the general practice of single-clicking links, and would likely be confusing. Jacob Nielsen says it best: ...double-click must die since it causes novice users great difficulties and since it conflicts with the single-click interaction style of the Web If your application does a good ...


33

There isn't any pattern common enough to be considered "normal" for this by most people, so it doesn't matter which you choose as long as it makes sense for your application. The important thing isn't whether it gets darker or lighter on hover. It is that there is some change. Someone using a site isn't going to say "that changed to dark on hover instead ...


24

Let say that you have the more common scenario of dark text and no other part of the design changes on hover and it's the background only, then when you hover, the button should be given a highlight. You're trying to focus on an item - to examine it and therefore it makes sense to brighten it up as if giving it more light to see by. Appearing backlit or ...


22

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


20

Conventions and the conscious breaking of The vast majority of people don't have their mouse buttons swapped. Even people who use the mouse with their left hand, often keep the buttons as they would normally be (myself is an example for this). Thus, people who swap these buttons can be considered in UX as complementary personas (people with special ...


18

Keyboard The Shift modifier is used for keyboard selection as well, and not just for single selection. No matter where you are, no matter how long the list, [Shift] + [END] selects everything from your current item focus to the end of the list, [Shift] + [PgDwn] one page (however that is defined). This also combines with the word jump of Ctrl where ...


16

Here's the patent for the blinking cursor patent: http://www.google.com/patents/US3531796 According to that, it was invented by Charles A. Kiesling at Sperry Rand. Patent filed Aug 24, 1967, granted Sep 29, 1970. This isn't iron clad proof that it was first invented at that time, but the time seems about right (computers were getting powerful enough that ...


16

Instead of double clicking to finish, you could: Click the starting point to close the shape (assuming all shapes are closed in) Have a button nearby labeled "Finished" or "Close Shape" or "I'm Done" etc. that closes the shape If you aren't able to use the OS to detect double clicks, I'd avoid them altogether. I've seen people with disabilities have the ...


14

I think it's more about maintaining conventions and user's general knowledge of those conventions than anything else. Browser/website interaction has been fundamentally different to OS user interface interaction since basically the dawn of the browser. In native UI's the convention has been to have a solid, non-clickable window area with UI elements akin to ...


14

The first time I saw this behavior was with Office 95. Word, to this day, still does this. In Word and Other applications like Notepad++, this cursor change indicates "a whole line" is the point of selection. Clicking while the cursor is in this state will select the entire line. Selecting an entire line is especially useful activity in text editors ...


13

Not a complete answer, but some thoughts about why drag-and-select is not so good. Dragging with a pressed mouse button is physically hard to do. You have to keep a constant pressure on the mouse button, and if it becomes too light, your work is undone. Too much pressure and the mouse can't glide well, and the cheap ones feel like they will fall apart in ...


12

I don't see the need for any new studies in this area. The issue is that people usually take the results out of context. You can't comparing using a mouse to learning a keyboard command and then using it. Apples and oranges. Let me summarise what we know. If you don't know the keyboard command, it is usually faster to use the mouse as it has a lower ...


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 ...


11

Option 1 by far. Please tell them that mouse distance is only one of many UX factors that need considered. Scan-ability - Knowing that the buttons are always at the bottom will cut out a lot of cognation and time for the user. Who says the users curser will start from the top? Think about where your curser is right now? is it near the top? or the middle ...


10

The issue is selection. On the desktop we usually select an item and then act on it. On the web, we act on the item without selecting it first - either that, or selection is implied by mouseover (which doesn't let us "select" multiple items). So, whenever we need to select an item explicitly before activating it, or when we need to perform multiple selection ...


10

1. Is the standard for both Windows and OSX. You should go with this. Update: (Note that when clicking at extreme bottom of screen it will automatically display as 4,when at extreme right it will display as 3, and at extreme bottom right it displays as 2.) This seems to make sense, you right click, and are at the top left position of the list of options. ...


10

What mouse acceleration essentially does is applies a sort of logarithmic scale to the distance moved per milisecond based on the speed you are moving at. The general concept is that when you are moving the mouse faster, you are trying to move it to a point further away, so acceleration scaled the distance the pointer will move to be even more than you ...


10

I'll put in an answer myself here... (Hopefully this will inspire to submit more research links...) Searching the ACM digital library and a few other resources I found a few related articles. Categorization costs for hierarchical keyboard commands (2011) by Miller, Denkov and Omanson Summary Previous research comparing methods of issuing commands ...


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

I think it would be okay for certain uses, particularly if you're considering having an object draggable or highlightable on a single click, then on a double click it could be openned. However I would strongly avoid anchor tags being doubleclicked, or anything that only responds to a double click.


8

While it is generally agreed as a rule of thumb that fewer clicks are better, a more important metric is considering how much the user has to think to complete the action. Ten thoughtless clicks are a great leap better than having to perform one confusing click. As long as the process is simple and requires very little thought, the number of clicks requires ...


8

The hand cursor icon is used for controls that provide navigation-like interaction. The regular cursor icon is retained when the interactive items are not for navigation, e.g. command/action buttons. The distinction between navigation and navigation/action can sometimes be subtle in apps like Gmail, but it is an important one and can drive user expectations ...


8

Key Stroke Modeling(KLM) that is part of GOMS method has some answers regarding this. According to an article by Jeff Sauro: Card, Moran and Newell brought in hundreds of users and had them complete tasks repeatedly. They decomposed large tasks like typing a letter or using a spreadsheet into millisecond level actions (called operators). They found just ...


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 ...


7

When I was using Google+ the first time, I noticed that they incorporate double clicks as an integral part of their Circles pages. The page shows a list of people - avatars and names. You can select them, multi-select them, rubberband a marquee to select them, all so that you can add them as a group to one of your circles. But if you double click on one ...


7

Simply put, mouse pointer size doesn't matter very much besides personal preference. A finger is only as accurate as it is big. A mouse pointer is always accurate to one pixel even if the display icon for it is larger than that. So the issue of size when talking about a mouse isn't nearly as critical as it is for touch.


7

Option 1 The difficult-to-name tri-state checkbox tree: The Group-level controls auto-change all contained users at once, potentially saving clicks and mental energy during bulk edits. The third state for the checkbox allows for the parent to be partially selected when some but not all kids are selected. Some drawbacks to this approach: Tri-state ...



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