I have seen in several places the practice of hiding certain elements such as Post Titles which can only be seen when the user interacts with the Post container.

Take this website as an example. Visit the site with a desktop device and hover the pictures with the mouse. When you do so the hidden Title displays below the image.

I am asking about information such as Post headers, Post sub-headers, not menus or sidebars.

Is it bad UX to await the user to interact (hovering for example) with some elements to show him information that he probably was expecting there?

Is it alright as the user already sees there is something missing and will try to interact to display it? (and might be considered good practice because of the discoverability)

3 Answers 3


In general, breaking user's expectation is bad UX. Imagine a newspaper without titles ).

But in some particular cases it works good. In your example they try to provide smooth navigation within graphical content. You are expected to watch and scroll, not to read. Text blocks breaks this smooth experience, as you need to switch from seeing to reading.

So they use this approach with intention to provide better UX. Watch the difference on the image below:

enter image description here

  • Very good point. I noticed it's highly common in photography/illustration content sites, for example in flickr.
    – Alvaro
    Nov 21, 2016 at 23:04
  • Intention of your website matters - Agreed!
    – Dipak
    Nov 22, 2016 at 6:48

Hiding titles sometimes makes sense.

Check out any IMDB image gallery on desktop. By default, the blurb about who's in the image and credits, etc, are all hidden. You actually click the Image to expose them. But that's a very special case, where the hidden information isn't always that important, and certainly isn't the primary focus.

Showing titles on hover, in a grid, can be bad practice. If using a mouse, people tend to scan with the pointer, and hover states popping up all over the place just gets annoying. IKEA used to have an elaborate hover state, for example, but they've got rid of it. That should give you some direction.

At the end of the day, it's good show titles, brands, who posted it or the price under an image. This is pretty standard and helps to frame everything. The only time you would normally consider omitting this information would be for an artistic piece or something at the very high end of fashion.


I've done it both ways, and have now come firmly down on the side of not hiding. For me, the principle of Avoid Surprises is key, with Make Affordances Obvious following close behind.

In the site you cite as an example, I have to ask: what's the motive? What's gained by hiding everything but the image? I can't think of anything. To me, it's more like a restaurant menu where if you want to know the price you must ask the waiter: aversive as hell (to me, at least).

And that site clearly has other layout problems as well, very much including having the dismissal string down at the bottom of the popup which, for me (768x1024) is off-screen.

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