I'm improving a widget that expands a dropdown list on hover.

One of the customers implementing the widget has requested a delay so we don't just slide up / down the drawer when a user is simply mousing round the page.

I'm fairly impatient as a person and testing with delays of ~ 1100ms are definitely too long waiting for something to happen.

But I'm not sure where's a sensible value sub 1100ms thats long enough to not be random mouse browsing but short enough to not have people get impatient.

I realise this is fairly specific but the widget is already embedded with zero delay on a large number of sites and I don't want to significantly reduce the UX across those sites by getting it wrong and realise I'm not a suitable test case.


0.3 to 0.5 seconds, according to a very comprehensive research article by the Nielsen Group:

The user’s intent to expose any corresponding hidden content can be assumed either immediately upon click or tap, or after the mouse cursor paused movement and remained in the target area for around 0.3–0.5 seconds.

And in more detail:

For hover interactions, the timing guidelines for speed of visual feedback and exposing hidden elements must be broken down into more steps:

  1. Mouse cursor enters target area: display visual feedback within 0.1 seconds.
  2. Wait 0.3–0.5 seconds.
  3. If cursor remains stopped within target area, display corresponding hidden content within 0.1 seconds.
  4. Keep displaying the exposed content element until the cursor has left the triggering target area or the exposed content for longer than 0.5 seconds.
  • Perfect answer, well cited and answers the question brilliantly. 0.4s it is then :)
    – Luke
    Jun 23 '17 at 8:51

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