You arrive at a web page and what do you do? You hover. On your way to doing anything with the mouse, you drag past a word and all of a sudden there is a popup. It could be a pull down menu showing a list of subtopics to explore. It could also be the “Share” button which prompts you to e-mail, Facebook, Twitter or more. It could be a link to related sites. And while these can all be helpful, not all popups are equally desirable. Some may cause inadvertent clicking and in an extreme case, a worm on Twitter was spread through Hover. Such a crisis in the world of hovering has led to a movement to end Hover Abuse. Well, it’s a minor movement but as they say, “Mighty oaks from little acorns grow.”
Hovering doesn’t mean the user has an intention to do anything other than, well, hover. As a result, designers who abuse hover are second-guessing what users want to do and this leads to excessive accidental clicking, which leads to frustrated accidental surfers. Experts claim that usability studies show most hover-ers click by accident and then dislike the site, perhaps never to visit again. While hover panels can save space on a web page, it can be the sign of an indecisive owner. And if you absolutely must use the hover popup feature in your page, it is suggested that you add a delay feature. The popup would launch after the mouse has hovered for a few seconds perhaps. For now it’s just a topic being debated but who knows if some sort of hover blocking feature is on the horizon.