THE Most Annoying UI Problem: R3DITM

It’s not the most glorious of acronyms (Rerender/Reflow/Repopulation Delayed Interaction Timeout Missing) but it’s certainly IMHO the most annoying of UI grievances of today and that’s what I’ve decided to call it, since this beast needs a name, so we can kill it.

I decided to make a blog post about this once my Reddit comment on this got over 200 upvotes in a post not about this particular problem.

What is it? Basically, in the split second before you’re about to fat-finger something on your phone or click it with your mouse, the view changes and whatever control you were about to tap/click is no longer there. Instead, some OTHER control you don’t want, that almost always fires off some extra wait time (usually causing you much consternation), registers the tap/click and off you go checking that unwanted notification when you really just wanted to scroll up on what you were looking at by tapping the top of the screen (I’m looking at you, iPhone). So, push notifications are 1 offender.

Another offender I’ve seen is live-repopulating search results. I can’t stand these because I have to wait till they’re done being collected anyway lest I click the wrong one, so why even bother populating them on-the-fly? Waze search results come to mind, but any live-search on any website with this feature is notorious for this as well.

Touch interfaces seem to magnify this problem tremendously.

What’s the solution? Whenever a control has just moved or appeared, there should be a small (perhaps user-adjustable) delay before it is “live” (interactable) again. And please, just lose the live-repopulating search results, ESPECIALLY on touch UI’s. You’re better off just making the user waitcursor while you gather them because they’re likely going to end up clicking an unwanted result, anyway.

That’s all I have to say about this matter. Please fix it, my UI brethren, because it’s annoying as hell.

EDIT: It has been brought to my attention that these misclicks/mistaps are a source of ad revenue and… before I even continue with this, let me say 2 things: 1) perverse incentive, and 2) DBAD.

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