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GUI Moving Target Dampening

Come back, widget. I thought you loved me :(
  [vote for,

I'd wager that every GUI user has been a victim of this at some point: 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 re-arrange 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 eye.

idris83, Apr 10 2012

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FlyingToaster, Apr 10 2012


normzone, Apr 10 2012

       3) have the screen freeze all changes during a mouse movement
FlyingToaster, Apr 10 2012

       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.
Loris, Apr 10 2012

       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.
scad mientist, Apr 11 2012


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