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Designing Web Interfaces by Theresa Neil, Bill Scott

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Chapter 10. Dynamic Invitations

Static Invitations are useful for cueing the user about what the interface has to offer. However, it is a fact established by many independent tests that users often don't read instructional text. A good way to get the users' attention is to provide invitations to interact at the moment when they need it. Dynamic Invitations engage users at the point of the interaction and guide them through the next step of interaction.

There are several ways to engage the user with a Dynamic Invitation:

Hover Invitation

During mouse hover.

Affordance Invitation

Using the familiar as a bridge to the new.

Drag and Drop Invitation

For drag and drop.

Inference Invitation

During interaction.

More Content Invitation

For revealing more content.

Hover Invitation

One way to engage the user is by using the mouse hover to show a Hover Invitation.

The Gap uses the mouse hover event to invite its shoppers to take a more detailed look at an item (Figure 10-1).

The Gap provides a nice "Quick Look" feature that is exposed as a Hover Invitation

Figure 10-1. The Gap provides a nice "Quick Look" feature that is exposed as a Hover Invitation

Considerations

There are some issues to keep in mind when using a Hover Invitation.

Visual cues

The button revealed uses inviting language. The term "Quick Look" makes it seem quick and easy. The button also looks like a button. The affordance of a button is clear; buttons have a clear connection with providing an action. It says to the user "click ...

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