My team is working on an email design software that features a drag-and-drop interface that offers very sophisticated drag-and-drop experience compared to others.

It enables users to drop elements not only on top and below each other but also next to each other, so users can create columns and change the layout without needing to use so-called "layout elements" that are usually available in other email design tools.

You can see the drag-and-drop in action here:


We studied a wide range of general design and email design tools and found that:

  • In classic design software, the hover state of elements is more emphasized than the selected state.

  • While in email design tools, the selected state seems to get higher emphasis than the selected state.

We are not sure, which one to choose.

What do you think, what are the pros & cons of having the emphasis on either the hover or selected states?

  • Please remove the tweet from the post. Only use the necessary link. Feb 4 '20 at 14:34
  • You meant to say that for email design tools, the selected state gets more emphasis than the hover state, didn't you? Feb 5 '20 at 7:42

I would think the hovered element should receive more emphasis.

(My) Rationale being that while dragging, the dragged element is selected. (Otherwise, you would need three visuals, one each for selected, dragged, hovered.) But while dragging, the user's focus is where to drop, i.e., which is the correct hovered element.

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