The following picture shows the direction my mouse takes moving from button opener to scroll bar:


As you can see, it passes over grey territory which causes the menu window to close, which is infuriating. Suggestions welcome.

Can this be considered a bug? Should this be fixed?

  • It can be irritating, but until a fix comes available, I found that by scrolling down a bit, then across to the scroll bar works fine - it does not cause the menu window to close. The key is to stay over the menu. – user306364 Oct 5 '15 at 9:52
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    ux.stackexchange.com might disagree - it seems to be a habit with me to go in a straight line – JMP Oct 5 '15 at 9:54
  • I understand that - but what I am saying is until a fix is made then this way will keep the menu open. – user306364 Oct 5 '15 at 9:55
  • i figured that out myself, but thanks for the tip – JMP Oct 5 '15 at 9:56
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    Isn't this how menus on every operating system work? – Earthliŋ Oct 5 '15 at 11:03
  • yes, i believe it is – JMP Oct 5 '15 at 11:06
  • @Earthliŋ The issue is that in other OS's there is not any element on the right-hand side of the menu that the user needs to get to. In StackExchange there is the scrollbar, and possibly more importantly the 'Log Out' button. That necessitates moving over to the right of the menu, and then triggering the next menu along unintentionally. If it were all text links straight down it'd be less of an issue. Agreed, it is still a minor issue, but clearly it causes annoyance to some people. – JonW Oct 5 '15 at 11:11
  • actually, its only because of the active icons in the way - move the mouse off left and the menu stays open - and no other link seems to affect it – JMP Oct 5 '15 at 12:37
  • i get finger-ache using the wheel – JMP Oct 5 '15 at 16:45
  • i also tried moving over the grey icons SOOOO quickly the OS wouldn't spot it, but that doesn't work! – JMP Oct 8 '15 at 11:45

To be honest I have never noticed this. Maybe it is because I always use the mouse scroll wheel instead of the actual scroll bars.

Even if I try to go to the scroll bar, I naturally move down and to the left a little, just enough to keep the dialog open. Maybe it is just something I got used to, but personally the current design doesn't hurt me.

The problem is, changing this behavior will probably break more than it fixes, and that is my real concern. If it stays open until you manually close it, you will not be able to 'click and peek', which is how I tend to use it now.

  • You still have to click to close the menu. It doesn't close automatically. Saying 'it's fine for me, everyone else is just using it wrong' isn't really the best solution. I'd wager it causes more annoyances to people the way it is than it would do to people if it were click to open for all. – JonW Oct 5 '15 at 9:58
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    I go from left to right, so first community list, check my active communities. Then inbox messages and then reputation overview. If you have to manually close the first to open the second, I think it gets annoying. – Patrick Hofman Oct 5 '15 at 9:59
  • @PatrickHofman that is precisely what I do as well - I find it is very convenient. But, to be honest, I'll just adapt to any system that is made. – user306364 Oct 5 '15 at 10:02
  • I'm not suggesting manually closing one at a time - more that you have to click the rep / inbox / logo to open the corresponding menu. A click of one will close the other menu. – JonW Oct 5 '15 at 10:16
  • @JonW sounds like a plan - just to clarify, it would be a case of still scrolling across as Patrick describes, just clicking on the rep/inbox/logo etc as we go? – user306364 Oct 5 '15 at 10:23

While I agree it is annoying, it isn't a bug as it's intentional (i.e. hovering over anything in the menu will trigger the corresponding menu). It's one of the 'joys' of using hover to interact with things.

Solution is - the navigation bar should be set to click to open for everything, and bin off hover altogether.

I see no benefit to having the menus trigger on hover when moving left<>right. They are very distinct menus - you trigger the one you want because there is something within it directly that you're after. The use-case for opening one menu and then intentionally wanting to open the next one is very rare (wanting to check your rep update as well as your inbox all at once) and that wouldn't exactly exactly be made harder or more inconvenient by an additional click.

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    It would also work more consistently on interfaces which don't offer a "hover" activation. – Andrew Leach Oct 5 '15 at 15:07

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