Downvoting a technical question on SO because you don't think its a good design decision is an awful and childish way to try and solve this problem. Not only would it go against SO guidelines, it's just wrong.
There's some weirdly surprising ignorance in the comments here on DN!
Aside from the research the author of the post links to, just consider using a website for a second. When you need to click something, you look at it, then move your cursor over it, then click it. Covering up the click target increases "cognitive load" and means your users will have to think for a split second to figure out what just happened.
Also, it's not like we browse with our mouse cursors offscreen. They're usually hanging out somewhere in the middle of the screen; why would you want to initiate a hover-cover that was unintended and will break the focus of your user?
All that aside! These effects really screw up mobile users, since they're typically not coded with enough finesse to account for taps instead of hovers-and-clicks.
Fully agree with the post: don't do this!
The cognitive load you speak of isn't necessary bad though. In the article's example, there may be a pause in the user after the hover-over but that's because additional (useful) information is being presented.
I agree with your second point though I think it's very minor to have your cursor activate a hover-over effect when scrolling. When this happens to me, and it very rarely does, I just move my cursor. It's not something that bothers me personally.
Best comment on this article "You use your MOUSE to look at things?"
Literally what I was thinking the whole time I was reading the rant. Hover FX can add a lot of character to a site, not to mention the functionality of making it obvious something is clickable.
The cursor was invented to help humans know how to interact with objects on screen. It is an extension of ourselves that can never be removed from the screen while we are interacting with it. It seems obvious that a large portion of users would use it to guide their focus.
If we were to use our fingers in real life like we use the cursor, where we could not remove our pointer finger from a magazine or book page while we were reading, I am sure we would find a majority of people would use their finger to guide their focus rather than have it point at nothing in the margin. Luckily, we can choose not to point at the page while reading in the physical world so as not to distract us. We can't do that in the digital world if we are using a mouse. The cursor is always there, which was specifically put there to help guide our focus.
My thoughts exactly. Glad someone wrote it up!
Imagine this "image-hover-cover" technique on a porn site.
Not that awesome anymore aaa?
you lose me when you say a magnifying glass, or refresh icon is vague.
Eh, can see your argument but will have to disagree here.
You take in a site as a whole, or at least what you can see on your screen. Your mouse movements show navigation intent, or where you want to go next. I don't roll over stories on the DN feed with my mouse one by one, I take them all in at once and then navigate with my mouse to the one I want to click on and view.
I think since the mouse hover demonstrates the intent of a user to navigate further towards that article/product/whatever, these hover effects reinforce and capture that action really well.
I respectfully disagree with this article. I like the idea that I can see full sized content, and mouse over the one I'm interested in, to get more info about that particular item. I like this feature!
To discover that the website offers this, is a bigger plus in my book, than the drawback of accidentally mousing over an image you are looking at, blocking your view, so you have to move the mouse away again (but you learned about the feature).
And I don't look with my mouse, I'm too lazy for that; if I see 12 beautiful images on a website, I'm not going to mouse over each one I look at.
But obviously it also depends on the information shown by the mouseover effect. Is it important? Is it part of the main content? Is it frustrating to have to mouse over each image, to see the info behind each one, before making a decision on which link to click?
A little surprised no one has made this argument yet:
Isn't this a good signifier for showing that an image is interactive?
I think this rant is based on how the web used to work, before fancy hover effects became the norm. I instinctively use my mouse to check if something is a link, or (especially with a gallery style page) see if there is more info when I hover over an item.
I think this is much more of a problem in reverse - when you have to hover over an item to see the actual image.
Huh, almost sounds like the author has a large-image-on-hover-extension or something – why else would he use his mouse to "look at" stuff?
Or, how common is it to use your cursor for looking? Doesn't seem too effective to me, but I'm curious.
Hmm -- I know I personally have a tendency to randomly highlight sentences as I'm reading them. I think I do that more often on text heavy pages though (e.g. comment threads, long articles). It just helps me keep my place.
I do adapt in situations where images are covered up though and it doesn't bother me too much. Though, I also use Hover Free to enlarge images on most sites on hover, but I don't think he's referring to the annoyances that can come from that every once in a while.
Agreed on all the replies to this comment. The cursor is an extension of both your eye and finger on screen, so it makes absolute sense that many users use it to direct their focus.