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Hover-Pop Menus: Just Say No

Dammit to hell, the latest CSS fad is hover-pop-up menus. Instead of having to click on some navigation menu on a web site, it pops up automatically when your mouse gets near it. Of course it is not sufficient to have one of these, you have to have a grid of them to the left, the right, above and below the page's content. And then every single word in the content is indexed to have its own popup that shows a miniature view of some other web page it links to that is automatically linked and not even relevant.

Try to go and type in a field and you are screwed as a avalanche of these menu mines explode all over the freaking place.

Web designers: Just say no to this concept! And those who think it is a great convenience and timesaver for the users despite the fact you never user tested this, please just kill yourself now.

Sunday, December 09, 2007
I agree. And please say no to modal dialogs also.
And client side datagrids.
Thank you.
Bull Ony Send private email
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Amen Scott. I can't tell you how many times these crappy hover-pop menus have made me furious. They put them all around the text you are wanting to read giving you some small corridor that you have to keep your mouse in to avoid them. Invariably your mouse ends up somewhere where it souldn't be. ARGGH!
Johnny Bravado
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Give it up, the Web is dead.

Don't believe me?  Try a simple Google search for anything consumer related.  Example: photo printer reviews.

You'll be buried in hits on sites trying to sell you something, sometimes even a photo printer!  Even the ones who have a URL and a masthead that makes you think you're at a product review or computer magazine are all sales.

We desperately need a new Web, with high fines and serious prosecution efforts for anything commercial apearing there.

MOST of this is Google's fault (Yahoo's fault, MSN's fault, etc.).

But those hover-pops are nasty.  Almost remind me of the advertising blimps floating all over the place in Blade Runner.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
"We desperately need a new Web, with high fines and serious prosecution efforts for anything commercial apearing there."

Whoops... JoelOnSoftware is gone.

"I'm your host, Joel Spolsky, a software developer in New York City. Since 2000, I've been writing about software development, management, business, and the Internet on this site. For my day job, I run Fog Creek Software, makers of FogBugz - the smart bug tracking software with the stupid name, and Fog Creek Copilot - the easiest way to provide remote tech support over the Internet, with nothing to install or configure."
Sunday, December 09, 2007
The web died the day you typed 'samba' into google and got a dance instead of a nework protocol.
(possibly it died when we stopped swappnig /etc//hosts files with each other)
Martin Send private email
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Hover-pop-up menus have never been a good idea. To get accuracy as good as click-to-open, you have to put in a delay that’s so long that any speed advantage is negated. See for example Bohan, M. Chaparro, A., and Scarlett, D. (1998). The Effects of selection technique on target acquisition movements made with a mouse. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 42nd Meeting. That’s right, 1998. This shouldn’t be breaking news. Here’s a rule of thumb for RIAs: make your controls work like a thick client, unless you’ve thoroughly researched the alternative and have shown that it is superior. More often than not, thick client controls were made that way for a reason.

As for Google, I wonder if biggest threat to Google is not Yahoo or Microsoft but Wikipedia. Usually I’m googling for a quick sufficing answer to a question. In such cases I’ve found that Wikipedia answers are often at the top of the Google results anyway (besides anything commercial), so now I go straight to Wikipedia for most of my searching, bypassing Google and its ads.
Michael Zuschlag Send private email
Monday, December 10, 2007

I have to doubt Justinian is crazy enough to mean there shouldn't be a commercial Web.  Maybe he just means we need search facilities without a commercial bias?  Or maybe a secondary Web that takes on the role of public libraries in the past?

I remember a day (wait, let me set my lemonade down) when public museums, libraries, auditoriums, and theaters were revered and respected nearly as much as places of worship.  The idea of commercial intrusion into these spaces seemed almost... unclean.  Sadly as the fortunes of larger cities declined, philanthropy turned its face to more global needs, and the masses loss interest in supporting public institutions through public revenue and modest fees many public institutions must now prostitute themselves to stay in service.

But the age of the Informative Web has passed much like the golden age of public institutions.  The Web has become another broadcast medium - with the addition of a low bandwidth reply channel for submitting your credit card number.

I suppose it comes down to a question of balance.
Monday, December 10, 2007
> "We desperately need a new Web, with high fines and serious
> prosecution efforts for anything commercial apearing
> there."
> Whoops... JoelOnSoftware is gone.

Luckily C o T is still available. Completely non-commercial, completely nutty, and complete with d*ld* wielding lesbians.

Thursday, December 13, 2007
The hover popup menus are horrible.  It's even worse when they are paired with javascript that parses the contents of the page looking for words that can be turned into advertising links (that use the hover popup menus).
bob, from accounting Send private email
Thursday, December 13, 2007
>Give it up, the Web is dead.

>Don't believe me?  Try a simple Google search for anything
>consumer related.  Example: photo printer reviews.

Yeah, just try to google images of Jenna Jameson.  No practical use at all.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007

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