Something interesting happened in usability testing yesterday. Without
belaboring the details of the interface (which I was not responsible
for), one of our users had anticipated a control being in one part of
the screen, so he moved the pointer there prior to the screen fully
He had good reason to. This particular site was divided into four
sections. Three of the four sections located the control in the lower
right corner. The fourth in the lower left.
Our participant noticed this immediately and pointed it out. The quote
that'll go in my report is something like this: "See, I put my mouse
here because that's where the others were."
I'm curious about research in this area. Has anyone looked at the
impact of anticipatory gestures -- both positively when the interface
is consistent enough to support it and negatively when it's not?
If it doesn't already have an official name, I would propose that we
call these gestures "Brownian motions" -- but I believe that's already
been taken ... :-)