A client I'm working with wants to implement a "peekaboo" block where information is revealed when a client rolls over headers, (basically an image-block JQuery accordion) as shown here: (in the multi-color blocks in the bottom of the page - note the hide-and-seek) http://goo.gl/F87pmK

I'm not a fan of hide-and-seek information, or the dancing blocks shown there.

I know this type of behaviour goes against recommendations I've read along the way -- and am trying to figure out the best way to make a case against it. Does anyone have any links that discuss this sort of behaviour by respected usability experts that I can help to make my case against this style of implementation?


There is a case for an approach as this (bear with me) in that you are allowing the user to explore and satiate the innate curiosity they have. However, it is never my go-to approach. I dislike hiding information from the user, and even worse distracting them with shallow animations. Content strategy would be the answer in this case.

To keep a high level of user experience, I would advocate towards an evaluation of content, rather than an iteration on execution. This collection of articles provide a really good understanding of the value of content strategy.

Furthermore, if you want to make a case against the act of hiding information you can make a comparison with the negative effects of revealing menu links on hover, as they have the same high-level approach as hiding blocks of content.

Lastly, you can also argue that the act of hiding information and revealing it on hover provides no affordance to the user, thus will make it harder for them to find information at first glance. Remember that we always want users to stay within a Level 1 cognitive load. Hide-and-seek information immediately puts the user in a Level 2.

Don Norman and John Sweller if you need to name drop.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Yes, important stuff like menus should never depend on hover when it doesn't work with touch devices! – Franchesca Apr 22 '14 at 7:44

A simple "against" is that this won't work at all on any touch devices: you would not be able to see the text because there is no hover state.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.