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ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)


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Matthew Dull <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 23 Jul 2007 11:33:59 -0400
text/plain (59 lines)
(resubmitted without all the older messages)

Hi Mathijs,

I've worked on the UI for a complicated website 'application' (an
automobile configurator) and we had some rather content-heavy flyouts
(they could act as menus of a sort) that occurred on mouseover of
certain items.  During usability testing nearly every user said they
were distracting and annoying, because as they moused around on the
screen, the flyouts kept occurring without the users wanting them to,
and it covered up other important parts of the app.

In your situation, if you are essentially recreating a desktop app UI,
using a top-of-the-screen menu bar would be a more normal placement
for menus, and perhaps users would not be accidentally mousing over
them as much.  I'd highly suggest taking it into usability testing and
seeing what people think about it (two versions - one with flyout
menus and the other with click menus).

-- MaTT

On 7/23/07, Mathijs Panhuijsen <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I was a bit confused by your response, until I realized there was a
> misunderstanding.
> The behavior you describe does apply to SUBmenu items, that is, items in
> a pulldown menu that (in Windows) have an arrowhead pointing to the
> right.
> It is true that if you hover over such items, the submenu opens
> automatically.
> I, however, was talking about the horizontal main menu bar (the one that
> usually reads File, Edit etc in a desktop app).
> That menu bar does *not* open its pulldown menus when you hover over the
> items.
> Maybe I should add that the application we are building is better
> described as 'a desktop app running in a browser' than as 'a highly
> interactive Web site'.
> By this I mean that it pops up dialogs, contains GUI controls commonly
> found in desktop apps, etc.
> This is a deliberate choice: it's a B2B application, not a publicly
> accessible Web site.
> Mathijs

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