Just Doesn’t Click

I ran across an odd website the other day. Its purpose is to demonstrate what a completely click-free browsing environment would be like. The authors clearly think it’s better, somehow, but I don’t think I like it at all. How about you? See for yourself here.

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2 Comments

  1. Charles says

    I remember coming across this quite some time back–I had seen it posted on a web design forum I frequent. Coming back to it now, I feel the same way I felt when I first saw it: that it’s pretty much just a gimmick. It’s an experiment to see if we can use an interface without clicking as opposed to a true proof-of-concept (in my opinion).

    I don’t like the “shock treatment” aspect of it–when you click by accident (or on purpose), the screen fills with noise and the interface reloads. Why does that need to be so jarring? I suppose the author is trying to condition us not to click.

    It all comes down to a simple question: why? Could you create an interface that doesn’t require clicking? Yes, obviously, but why would you want to? The only reason I can think of is maybe you’re designing for a specialty input device that doesn’t allow for clicking (yet still allows for mouse-like movement), and I can’t think of any off the top of my head. Even the futurist interfaces depicted in sci-fi films feature some form of “clicking.”

    On the usability front, removing clicking essentially turns the mouse-over into a click and eliminates the functionality that is normally attached to the mouse-over: generally a preview of some sort, whether in the form of a pop-up tooltip or the browser status bar. By eliminating an important way that users interact with interfaces, you limit what you can accomplish with an interface. Also, some of people subconsciously move the mouse to track the area of the screen they are examining, or use the mouse pointer to keep their place in text. Removing the click means you can’t move your mouse for fear of setting something off. You could condition people not to do this, of course, but (yet again) why?

    The author says that he felt “challenged” to build a click-free interface. As a programmer/designer, I can understand that–who doesn’t like challenges? And it’s good to think outside the box sometimes. If we didn’t we’d never make any progress. But until I see a functional point to the exercise, that’s all it will be: a personal challenge.

    Posted October 8, 2007 at 2:45 am | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    Good points, Charles, and I agree with them all.

    Posted October 9, 2007 at 9:49 am | Permalink