How should I handle the GUI changing just before the user clicks or taps, causing an erroneous input?

I had the idea of ignoring input for 300ms before the input appears, but I'm not sure if this is good UX.

Is there any terminology to describe when this happens?

I asking generally, for example, a user can press R unluckily right after the asking dialog had appeared, and "bye... bye..."

  • I see what you mean and it can happen sometimes, essentially between 2 page loads. I've never encountered a word to explain this behavior. Yet.
    – Leths
    Jul 12, 2017 at 13:11
  • I have found some good articulation of this here
    – okoloBasii
    Aug 3, 2017 at 9:54
  • 1
    There's a similar situation with smart TV, cable box, etc. Press info and it overlays information about the current program. The message goes away after 30 seconds, or one can press exit to clear it immediately. But if one presses exit just as it times out, the command applies to the normal screen and messes things up. Aug 12, 2023 at 0:39

1 Answer 1


I'm not sure if there is a name for this... other than "frustrating" ;-)

Generally speaking one shouldn't swap out the UI on the user unless the user does something to trigger it (eg they cramped to see a 6mo vs 3mo chart)

If you have a scenario where the entire UI refreshes... it might be a good idea to white out the UI (~50% white overlay) and throw up a spinner for ~200ms while you fetch the new UI data and swap it in. At least in this scenario the taps during the whiteout are ignored and there is a quick visual clue to the user that the UI is changing.

  • You took this too specific. I asking generally, for example, a user can press R unluckily right after the asking dialog had appeared, and "bye... bye..."
    – okoloBasii
    Aug 3, 2017 at 8:02
  • Ah ok this is a different scenario. This is like the old windows "i need to reboot, can I reboot now?" reminder dialog. It would pop up every 5 min? And if you're not careful a stray enter would cause a reboot. Ok so my advice would change to this: if the pop up dialog is launched by result of the user action (eg user clicked cancel and thus is an "are you sure"... do nothing, but if you launch a pop up randomly "do you want to do a full HD re-index?" Then disabling the hotkey for a second may be ok... I think it would be very scenario specific.
    – scunliffe
    Aug 3, 2017 at 11:28

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