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534

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, ...


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

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

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

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 ...


7

Mega menu contains a lot of information and user probably is under significant mental load while working with it. So if random mouseouts close the menu the task flow is broken and it's very annoying for user to re-start the work again. So I think it's reasonable to close mega menus onclick as well as onclick at outside menu area. These actions reflect the ...


7

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 ...


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

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

This changes between applications and users, but a typical value is 500ms. Some people struggle to click fast enough when it's set at 500ms (think people using a touch device), and others find this too slow. So if you really need double click functionality, I would suggest defaulting to 500ms, but offering an option to change it. I would strongly suggest ...


3

I haven't been able to find sources for this, but my gut feel is that people expect complementary actions to mirror each other. existing examples: move your arm towards you to pull open a door, and away from you to push it closed hover on a link to activate the underline, and mouse away to get rid of it mouse to the edge of the window to bring up a ...


3

Answering your question with a question Most older browsers have, by default, a blue line around images with a link on them, turning purple once you've visited the link. However, I suggest, you go for something lighter rather than something darker. This is because it's called a highlight. The name itself should suffice. However, you could get away with ...


3

I think you could run into problems with this interface as you propose it, that is, by binding two different events to the same interface button. Both double clicks and click and hold can be awkward for any user who does not have good control of their hands (age, illness etc.). They may well end up accidentally clearing the entire field. Considering such a ...


3

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 ...


3

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 ...


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 ...


2

As it's up to the user to set the double click speed in most operating systems, there aren't any real defaults. I suggest to simple check at which speed it's still comfortably for you to trigger the event and then double the time span to hit the speed of a non-professional user.


2

Long click is not a standard interaction with a mouse, unlike a tap-and-hold on a touch-screen interface. There isn't a browser event for it, for example: you just get "Click" and would have to do some fancy work with "MouseDown" and "MouseUp" to work out whether it was a short click or a long one. Why not use the standard double click functionality? Click ...


2

There are lots of issues with mouseout / hover (touch-screen users, keyboard only users etc) so clicking to open / close is a sensible way to negate many of these issues. If you're concerned that clicking to close isn't as usable as mouse-out (possibly because it's not as obvious that you can click to close something in the same way that clicking to open ...


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

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 ...


2

As far as I can tell my old magic mouse for my Mac reacts as there where two button to push, even if it lokked like one (or none). So I used the right-click feature on my Mac with great success. Thus, two buttons are better than one, even for Apple This is an evolution from the first ever computer mouse, which only had one button


2

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. ...



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