Docking windows

26 Jul 2007 - 10:55am
523 reads
Ashley Gadd2
2007

I'm looking for research or suggestions on the interaction and feedback
when docking a window within an application with the mouse.

Old-school docking used invisible drop targets and showed outlines to
indicate where the window would dock. Users would get frustrated poking
the mouse around trying to find that sweet spot that did what was
wanted. New docking methods use explicit drop targets to eliminate the
guesswork, see <http://www.bcgsoft.com/FeatureTour/tour170.htm>. We're
trying this method in our app.

The problem is that all five users I've tested completely overlook the
drop targets in the new method. They're used to the old method, so they
focus on a different part of the screen and don't see the drop targets.
Worse, some users didn't understand that the icons were drop targets
even after they did see them.

Does anyone know of any research or have any experience with docking
windows?

Thanks,

Ashley

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