Monday, April 18

Trillian Instant Lookup

This is rather off topic, but something I just stumbled upon. The cerulean guy praises their instant lookup feature, which I personally find rather annoying in its current form. Because of which I disabled it.

Not because I dislike the feature, but because it happens to disturb while not being used. As soon as the mouse pointer accidentally sits on a word which wikipedia has information about, it shows the associated entry. Which then disturbs my concentration and forces me to move the mouse away to be able to keep typing. Also, because I communicate in german most of the time, certain words are being underlined and activated, which have nothing to do with the english wikipedia entry. And there is no configuration possible to select a default language, also a language detection would be helpful.

In the rare cases when I really don't know the meaning of a word, it is nice that Trillian gives easy access to the wikipedia entry. But, as said, most of the time it gets in the way.

So, if you are developing a nice feature for your UI, please try to keep it as passive as possible. Showing information in a kind of push-manner might seem nice first, but in reality it proves quite annoying if you actually try to work or chat. Offer help, but let it sit there passively until the user decides he or she would like to use it (signaling this for example through clicking on the underlined word).

so long, cheers :)


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