i was very influenced by this recent blog: http://andycroll.com/writing/the-end-of-hover, in which andy croll suggests we can free ourselves from the needless rollover effect. i’ve worked with rollovers for a long time. when i first discovered the technique of replacing images dynamically, i was amazed. but what i was really impressed with was (early versions of) the DOM manipulation. the effect itself never did much for me or the user experience, so i’m happy to see it go. of course, this effect was cumbersome until the CSS :hover selector showed up, but easy development has never been a reason to implement something. so, let’s be happy we are moving beyond a useless graphic effect and onto a better way to represent user interfaces.
but what’s next? the tap, the tap to toggle – any of these have yet to provide any added utility, and being a programmer, i can’t help but focus on usability first. for me, we’re left with what we started with – a means to manipulate the DOM. so when we design and build our user interfaces, we have to remember, that above all else, we have the option now of using our control over the DOM to not just toggle images, but to toggle information in a meaningful way that adds to how we understand (and traverse) our information.
so now, instead of rollover navigation and ‘tooltips’, think about how the page can dynamically shift and change, piece by piece, into a completely different page.
this does leave the question of shifting address-ability (the permanent URL) to be considered, but i’ll leave that for another post.