We can do all kinds of cool stuff with web pages these days. In fact, there isn’t much you can’t make a web page do with one of the many web programming languages out there. But one thing you should never do is to change the way the mouse cursor reacts to clickable links. [Tweet This]
By default, your mouse cursor is designed to appear in certain ways based on what it’s hovering over. Most of the time, it’s an arrow. When you mouse over editable text areas, it changes to look like a tall letter “I”. When the computer is thinking or waiting, the cursor might turn into an hourglass. And when you mouse over links, the cursor turns into a hand with the index finger pointing up.
We all know this because most of us have been using computers for years. That’s just what we come to expect.
But every now and then, a web designer gets the idea to make things “cool” by changing the way the mouse cursor looks and reacts on a website. It may be cool, but it’s not a good idea.
I get that it’s fun to do things differently than everyone else, but when your cursor suddenly has balls floating around it, changes to a target or, who knows what else, it only confuses the visitor. The usual visual cues the cursor provides are gone, leaving the visitor to guess what each new cursor image means.
Will they figure it out? Probably. But is it work the risk? The mouse, instead of being a subtle tool for moving through the website, becomes an annoyance if not a full impediment. The visitor is distracted by the mouse rather than staying engaged in your content.
Make sure all your clickable links look like clickable links when the visitor mouses over them. If you’re using different programming languages to create links, double check that the mouser continues to react properly each time.