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559

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 ...


228

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


146

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


82

hiding the scroll bar is a bad practice, for a few reasons: some people do not have a scroll wheel - just as you're worried. Just like how that impoverished county an hour away counts as "3rd world economy" by international standards, so too today do we find unusual relics of usability times 'long past' the scroll cursor is an indicator of position. It ...


77

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, ...


25

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


22

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 ...


22

Overall, I believe hiding the scrollbar is bad practice. Even if everyone has a scroll-wheel on their mice, people are still prefer the scrollbar to go up and down a page. Also people might become intimidated by the lack of a scrollbar since the bar is an indication that there's more to see on the page than you currently see.


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 ...


14

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 ...


14

Specific to your question title, unless you have absolute control over the platform, you should not make any assumptions about the hardware that your users may be employing. There are a myriad of input devices that already may be in play: touchpads/trackpads, trackballs, mice, touch screens, etc., let alone who knows what may become available in 3 months, ...


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 ...


13

No. Not everyone has a mouse wheel. Some users don't even use a mouse. They use the trackpad and the keyboard. Now, your real question whether it is good UX to hide the scroll bar and show it only during scrolling: in my opinion.. No. Strictly speaking, users without a mouse and without a scroll bar can still scroll, e.g. using the space bar in the web ...


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 ...


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 ...


9

In general - don't use hover to engage actions! Hover can be used to show subtle graphical cues like highlighting a button to show that it's possible to interact with it, or to show a tool tip. Users can get frustrated if actions are engaged just by hovering since it's not a standard way of doing it. And (as stated in the comments) - hover doesn't exists in ...


8

This has already been said in the comments, but it really ought to be an answer: Do not hide the scroll bar, because most laptops do not have a scroll wheel. At best they have a rather substandard scroll area to one side of the mouse pad. I speak as someone who took an online exam which assumed the use of a mouse scroll wheel would be possible.


8

I've been in this situation many times. What I've always done is program the app to scroll the child-most element that the cursor is over and only that element: To clarify, when I say only that element, I mean that if you're scrolling an element in one direction and you reach the end of that scrollbar, I program it such that it does not proceed by ...


7

Its because Apple explicitly mentions in its Human Interface Guidelines that all software providers should provide all functions available with a single click and they dont see any use case for providing a right click. That said it does support an option to have a secondary click as shown below which brings up the contextual menu Now coming to the reason ...


6

A bad situation to be in, but it somtimes happens when maintaining old applications. There are a few things you could do to make things a little less confusing: Scroll the main window scrollbar by default, and only scroll inner controls if the user explicitly clicks on them. This would also require some visual feedback on which control is currently ...


5

I think all of the other answers have made it clear about not being able to assume everyone has a scroll wheel. To expand upon the other aspects of the question...yes, OSX has made hidden scroll bars the default behavior. But some things to keep in mind: people that use OSX will be used to this. So it may make sense if you are writing OSX software. It's ...


4

The current, widely accepted solution for multiple item selection is to implement a Shift + Click system to handle the selection of a large number of elements. Not sure this is the case. From testing I have done the Click+Shift is not a well understood function and is hidden to the end user. Using some other method whether checklists or an add ...


4

There was a discussion in Slashdot forums back in 2005 about why Apple makes a one-button mouse. It seems like the primary design decision was to remove the confusion among the average computer user for remembering which button to click and therefore increasing intuitive usage of the Apple user interface. The article states: Apple is always concerned ...


4

Fitts's Law is the thing you want to test. Fitts's law (often cited as Fitts' law) is a model of human movement primarily used in human–computer interaction and ergonomics that predicts that the time required to rapidly move to a target area is a function of the distance to the target and the size of the target. Fitts's law is used to model the act of ...


4

Not even every mouse, Apple's Mighty Mouse has no scrollbar, but you can use the whole area for scrolling. Hiding useless scrollbars when the content is smaller is okay and expected by most, but hiding active scrollbars was the worst decission ever and is only confusing the average user. Might make a little sense on tiny mobile phones, but even there it ...


3

Use hover, but don't make your UI depend on it as: it doesn't work on touch devices if used to reveal actions, those actions are effectively hidden away from the user hover is not accessible to all users (it requires patience; ability to exactly position the mouse) it's totally uncommon to activate items on hover, no matter how convenient that may seem ...


3

Avoid using platform-specific terms as much as possible, especially considering that touch devices are becoming more and more common. In this specific case, I'd avoid the instructions altogether and offer a Download link. Following that link should suggest the browser to save the file instead of opening it, even if it's an image or an HTML page. ...


2

This is an interesting one, What would you do if the user is accessing the screen using a touch screen device. 'Save Target As..' if you are using Internet explorer, if you are using chrome, 'it's save link as' Sometimes in design you have to consider 'what's the majority use case', is it of users swapping the buttons? If you try to include too much ...


2

From Tog himself Not that any of the above True Facts will stop the religious wars. And, in fact, I find myself on the opposite side in at least one instance, namely editing. By using Command X, C, and V, the user can select with one hand and act with the other. Two-handed input. Two-handed input can result in solid productivity gains (Buxton 1986). It ...


2

To begin with, not all keyboards and mice are designed to make a sound - some are designed for exactly the opposite, for obvious reasons. But to answer your question, there are 3 reasons, and the third one is by far the most important one. (I came across this topic while drifting off researching the mechanism of electric piano keyboard; the following is ...



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