Monday, October 30th, 2006

Don’t Click It

Category: UI

Don’t Click It is an experiment in human interface design. It is a strange one.

You are allowed one click to start off the interface, and from then on as you use the mouse to grok the interface, you are warned not to click.

If you do so, you shock the monkey and you are asked why you clicked. If you haven’t clicked in awhile you will be surveyed on if you miss it: “Do you miss the click within this interface”.

It is highly strange to navigate for an extended period without clicking.

Mouse-clicking has always seemed so primitive. We are like prehistoric creatures that can only simple point at something and bark. It will be interesting to see how long it will take for the next breakthrough. Until then we are left with the gillette approach of “add more blades”, but in our world it means more buttons and wheels on a mouse.

Don\'t click it

Posted by Dion Almaer at 12:07 am

4.4 rating from 27 votes


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Really nice and fresh idea. But for my taste, it’s too splashing and involves too many movements over the screen. Some ways of navigation are really difficult to follow. I don’t think that such totally “non-clicking” interfaces should be used in real-life applications and sites.

Comment by KIR — October 30, 2006

Although this is a site over a year old, it’s still being updated from time to time and innovates more and more.

Comment by kourge — October 30, 2006

I think this interface is horrible. Ouch, I had opened everything, what I did not want, and I could not opened that I wanted. :D
Good for play, wrong for real applications. I think.

Comment by Amon — October 30, 2006

It seems to me that the idea for a clickless interface for major navigation based upon mouse movement and position is idiotic at best (for most purpopses, or for purposes of web navigation anyhow). It’s a gimmick, with a profoundly negative effect on usability.

It is ok to temporarily emphasize/expand and de-emphasize/contract elements on mouseover and mouseout, provided that a complete mouseover/mouseout cycle does not permanently alter the current state of the document. There are big problems with using mouseover/out as a major navigational event. Hovering your mouse over an object doesn’t mean you want to engage it–99% of the time, it means that the object just happened to be between where your mouse was and the thing you actually wanted to click on. mousehovers are largely incidental, wheras clicking (or pushing buttons) is deliberate.

Using incidental, rather than deliberate events to trigger major ui changes/navigation seems likley to yeild a gross misinterpretation of the users actual intentions.

Comment by JoeBoy — October 30, 2006

[…] I had stumbled on to, and read about it at Ajaxian. It is an experiment to study removal of mouse clicks from our usage. It has been replaced with gestures and timers. What you see today is the Phase I which asks lot of questions. How hard is it to break with our clicking habits? What happens, if we remove the essential element of navigation from an interface, which we are accustomed to? Does it change our behaviour of navigation? Is this change for good or for bad? What do we gain from it? Do we miss the Click at all? Does this have any influence on our perception of the interface? Is clicking really rooted that deeply in us, that we can not resist it? … […]

Pingback by iface thoughts » Blog Archive » Say No To Clicks — October 30, 2006

Exactly JoeBoy, this is why it is an experiment. I used this site successfully to get customers to realise that a drag and drop interface without any initial clicking (and therefore support for keyboard users) makes a lot more sense than one that automatically activates the drag and drop.

Comment by Chris Heilmann — October 30, 2006

The idea is really interesting. Definitely proves a point though: clicking is essential!

Seriously, all the click alternatives are ridiculous!

Who would want to circle around a button to activate it!?

Comment by Tobie Langel — October 30, 2006

Is it really so “idiotic”? is it really so “horrible”? And the “just for play” analogy simply doesn’t fly in a world of interaction that rewards exploration as much as data entry or search.

sure there’s a frustration factor – its not exactly meant to be an application so much as proving a point. for me, its not a matter of replacing the click so much as understanding other gestural possibilities offered by the mouse.

the argument stating that “mouseovers are largely incidental” is highly debatable. Yes, I can see this approach having serious problems on the desktop where many active targets exist in different contexts, but in a localized demonstration running in a window, I think it works surprisingly well.

While I can’t call this practical (not exactly intended to be), I do consider it a solid design. For the most part I didn’t inadvertently trigger mouseovers, and if I did, recovering from my “error” wasn’t particularly difficult – again, this is a limited domain. Work on a larger scale would certainly be problematic, yet I feel certain aspects of dontclickit would work nicely in the context of image editing/painting or music composition/performance – where realtime manipulation of data in a fluid & spontaneous manner is an asset.

For spreadsheets, email & coding; quite frankly, some tasks are just a few steps removed from their teletype roots

Comment by Gary R Boodhoo — October 30, 2006

[…] How long can you go without clicking on a website interface is the question asked by this user interface experiment posted today on Ajaxian. The website experiments with building a clickless interface and it pulls it off fairly well. It doesn’t take long to figure out how to navigate menus pages with only movements of your mouse. The idea comes from the fear of a mouse with ever an increasing number of buttons. They have clickless experiments and and games to show that mousless interfaces are functional and even suggest a humorous product that would help ween you away from clicking a mouse: […]

Pingback by Dev Blog » Blog Archive » A No Click Interface? — October 30, 2006

[…] Leggo su Ajaxian di un esperimento per un'interfaccia web senza click portato avanti su Don't Click It (non lasciatevi trarre in inganno dal dominio .it, in effetti non ho idea di chi ci sia sotto ma l'inglese è molto corretto, che mi fa pensare che non siano italiani, quando in un post la parte tra parentesi è molto più lunga della parte FUORI dalle parentesi ma che cosa ce le metti a fare 'ste parentesi). In sostanza il cielo si apre se clicchi con il mouse, l'esperienza è un po' pavloviana ma interessante. […]

Pingback by :: NelWeb s.n.c. Comunicazione Web Servizi - Laboratorio :: » Archivio Blog » Guardare e non cliccare — October 30, 2006

Clicking clearing depends on context. Rollover menus, like those found at the top of a page for navigation are almost always assumed to activate without a click. The only time a click should be inferred is when the cursor changes to a hand instead of a standard pointer. I could see using this system with just a couple of days of getting used to it.

Comment by Andrew Herron — October 30, 2006

What about when you just want to move the mouse out of the way because it may obscure text?

I don’t like it, the mouse button is a tool for me to tell the interface do this or that.

It reminds me of the routine where the gentleman is in a silent auction and accidently scratches is nose during a high bid item.

Comment by John Giotta — October 30, 2006

Why? Just why?

Comment by Ken Fehling — October 30, 2006

Completely wrong. Rollovers are a horrible idea that should die now. With rollovers, the screen becomes a minefield of accidental actions that must be navigated and avoided. With clicks, the cursor hovers above the playing field, moving freely about in any direction, and only touching down when a deliberate action is desired.
An obvious example are those inline ad words. You may think you’re headed for the menu bar, but pass over one of those and suddenly you got junk appearing on your screen.
And how does the example in this story improve on things? It behave exactly as if it were clicked. The only “advantage” is that it saves the user from having to actually press the button. And even in this carefully contrived demo, if you want to read the text under the cursor, and so nudge it out of the way, suddenly everything changes, and the thing you were reading goes away.

Comment by George Bailey — October 30, 2006

Gary R Boodhoo — October 30, 2006 asks:
> Is it really so “idiotic”? is it really so “horrible”?

Click on YES.


Roberto M

Comment by RobertoM — October 30, 2006

A mouse-driven interface without click support is like a car with no brake pedal.

I was going to expand more, but I think that’s really all I can say about the concept. As for this particular implementation, it looks like they went back to 1997 and had Kevin Kelly vomit into a Flash MX project.

Comment by raindog — October 30, 2006

One very interesting this interface shows up is that we get used to what we do everyday..!! Inorder to learn to get into new “groove” – we really have to break from our existing mindset that makes us believe that if there’s a link on a Web – One must ckick on it :)

A very nice study on human psyche..!

Comment by Chinmay — October 30, 2006

I think that this has some applicablity in the area of accessible user interfaces. However, for mainstream use I am not yet convinced.

Comment by Douglas — October 30, 2006

Nie klikaj!

Ciekawy eksperyment przeprowadza Alex Frank. Strona to zaprogramowany we Flashu bardzo nowatorski sposób obsługi aplikacji sieciowej.
Główne zaÅ‚ożenie eksperymentu? Nawigacja bez klikania. Rzecz, na którÄ… siÄ™ praktycznie nie z…

Trackback by Filip Tepper — October 30, 2006

I understand this is only a study right now. I have a couple of observations:

1. There was a send mail feature similar to what I’m typing this comment right now. Fine, no problem, but what happens if I find out there was a typo on some line above, how do I position the cursor w/o clicking to fix the typo?
2. How would the author(s) plan to handle drag and drop w/o clicking?

I managed not to click until the end when I clicked on purpose. It felt very unnatural, like playing basketball without being allowed to jump :-)

Comment by Kevin Hoang Le — October 30, 2006

Reminds me of the Tai Chi story where the master dreamt that he was doing Tai Chi with no arms, and it was only then that he understood how to do Tai Chi movement.

This kind of navigation would be good for some kind of sites, but for many it would be irritating and fraught with accidents. The worst of it is when you have to leave the page to go to another page, you come back and there’s nothing to tell you where you were.

Comment by Dale — October 30, 2006

Klicken verboten

Don’t click it! Heißt es auf der gleichnamigen Seite,, darf man nur einmal klicken, nämlich um das Angebot aufzurufen, ab dann ist das Klicken mit der Maus verboten. Ganz nett und manchmal kann man sich kaum zurückhalten mit d…

Trackback by Maurice Renck — October 31, 2006

Nicht klicken!

Bei ist das Klicken mit der Maus verboten, navigiert wird anders.

Trackback by Elbrauschen — October 31, 2006

This can be useful in the future. We never know. Most of the scientific revolutions were supported by forgotten old experiments brought from the dark when their moment came. This is what innovators should do. And later, others could find the application.

Comment by MartinFdez — April 14, 2007

…you will be assimilated, resistance is futile…

Comment by rob cain — June 3, 2007

What an nice experiment! It reminds me somehow to Milgram’s experiment…

Comment by Matthew — July 8, 2007

as a MS DOS user I found it very hard to learn using a mouse. But then keyboard seemed archaic and mouse was cool. Then I moved to the touch pad and the keyboard. I stumbled upon dontclick today the challenge to not click was stimulating and fun for most part till I could not send them an email!

Provocations in design are required for some good to come out and I say that …as a user and not a designer or techie

Comment by gayatri — November 29, 2007

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