h a l f b a k e r y
What's a nice idea like yours doing in a place like this?
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I'd wager that every GUI user has been a victim of this at
Having decided to click something, somehow, in the short
time between the motor impulses leaving the brain and the
UI event arriving at the window, the program has decided
that, actually, this would be the perfect time to
all of the on-screen widgets. Away jumps the thing you
wanted to click, and in its place something you really
didn't want to click. You delete the tax return. You share
the porn. You "like" the bereavement.
Two possible solutions I've just come up with, and I'm
eager to hear others:
1) If it needs to re-arrange itself, the contents of a window
should pivot / expand around the mouse pointer. E.g., if
your pointer is hovering over 14326592.png, but the
thumbnail for '00000006.png' finally finishes loading far
above, making the first row of icons in the folder suddenly
double in height, then the directory pane should expand
upwards off the top of the viewport, instead of pushing
everything below it downwards. No matter what happens
elsewhere in the pane, your mouse pointer should still be
hovering over 14326592.png.
2) Any automatic re-positioning of widgets or windows
should be preceded with a visual warning such as a glowing
from within the widget, and be delayed until a timer has
expired. The timer will start off at near-zero when the
webpage / directory / GUI first starts loading, and will
grow longer each time it ticks over, perhaps exponentially,
up to a maximum interval of 2 seconds (configurable).
Elements about to reposition should start glowing half an
interval before they begin to move, and should (if the
processor / GPU permit) glide smoothly across the
viewport, making them easy to follow, at least with the
||"DO YOU WANT TO RUN [WRECKYOURCOMPUTER.EXE]
||3) have the screen freeze all changes during a mouse movement
||A constant annoyance under Windows.
||RISCOS did very well, only 20 or so years ago, with a third solution. Cicks are (mostly were, now) time-stamped, so the system could figure out what you'd clicked on.
||Time stamps are fine except that it's still easy to click just after the screen updates. Of course a time stamp could be used for a 3rd option. The web page should track clickable areas. If the boudaries between clickable areas near the click have moved within a specified time period before the click occured, the click should be ignored. Optionally there could be a sound played (screaching tires maybe), and/or the item you clicked as well as the item previously located where you clicked could be highlighted briefly.
||I like option 1 somewhat, but that method wouldn't work for touch screens since there is no movement before click.