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I'm curious if anyone knows what the typical mouse hover position is for a user browsing the web? I believe it's the right side of the screen, for proximity with scrollbars (and because that's where I notice that my mouse tends to hover) even though most users probably scroll with the mousewheel instead, but I'd like to know what others think.

For example, I liked this answer re. 'is the optimal placement of a scrollbar on the left or right side of the screen?' because it mentioned the "order of content consumption" being based on the language used (e.g. left to right for English), and because it referred to Fitt's Law, but it doesn't definitively say which is the more favored hover position.

Please include references or verifiable data (e.g. heat map studies), if possible.

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The cursor is often used as a guide to support reading. The F-Pattern is the most common reading pattern when scanning a website, so it would be reasonable to infer that the cursor is often in line with that pattern. I know that I often do this, especially while reading on the web closely.

This Master's thesis study from Pompeu Fabra University (Spain) made a distinction between horizontal and vertical reading in cursor movement (slide 14)... it also depends on the task, e.g., searching vs. reading.

  • Thank you for those informative links! The F Pattern was nice reading! But the thesis was... well - let's just say I haven't been that bored since taking statistics in college. But neither answers my question! And using the cursor as a guide to support reading seems odd to me - kind of like using your finger as a guide while reading a written text; it seems okay for beginners but like it would be generally frowned upon beyond a certain reading age. (Said with great love.) So I think you're making a leap there - I don't think that's a safe assumption to make for the common case. – Sensei James Mar 2 '18 at 22:01
  • I wasn't suggesting an exact cursor-to-word follow. But I think it would be reasonable to assume the cursor is usually in the general reading area. – gpgpgp Mar 4 '18 at 0:56
  • I disagree. But facts speak louder than words. Data? – Sensei James Mar 4 '18 at 8:30

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