Drag and Drop

7 Oct 2009 - 3:36pm
5 years ago
6 replies
1382 reads
Elana Glazer
2009

Imagine presenting users with about 30 items of clothing and
accessories and wanting them to build 7 days of outfits (costs are
calculated per outfit as the output).

My team is thinking of presenting users with 7 rectangles, each
representing a day of the week, and having users drag and drop items
to these areas to build the outfits. (The target of the site are
adults 35-65).

My gut tells me that this is too many items for drag and drop and we
should explore other interactive options.

Can anyone point me to usability research on drag and drop. Or does
anyone have usability insights on how and when to use this? I think
that drag and drop is a complicated interaction solution but perhaps
users do like them.

Thanks!

Comments

7 Oct 2009 - 3:57pm
Eduardo F. Ortiz
2008

Hi Elena,

My team recently designed a drag-and-drop module for a project that we're
working on, our audience range is pretty wide so we decided to go with a
dual system, where the most experienced (comfortable with technology) could
use the drag and drop and other users could use a simple CTA like "Add this
item".

I'm sure that there's some formal research that has been done on
drag-and-drop, I am however not familiar with them. But in the process of
designing this module we looked at these (had them bookmarked) to
substantiate our design:
*
Yahoo! Design Pattern Library *
"Drop invitation" (
http://developer.yahoo.com/ypatterns/richinteraction/invitation/drop.html)
"Drag and Drop Module" (
http://developer.yahoo.com/ypatterns/richinteraction/dragdrop/modules.html)

*Ajaxpatterns.org*
http://ajaxpatterns.org/Drag-And-Drop

*Designing Web Interfaces (the book's website)*
http://designingwebinterfaces.com/gmail-drag-drop-obj-pattern

*UIDesignpatterns.org*
http://uidesignpatterns.org/designPatterns/Drag-and-Drop---Layout-Preview

I hope these help you with your project.

Eduardo

On Wed, Oct 7, 2009 at 9:36 AM, elana glazer <elanaglazer at gmail.com> wrote:

> Imagine presenting users with about 30 items of clothing and
> accessories and wanting them to build 7 days of outfits (costs are
> calculated per outfit as the output).
>
> My team is thinking of presenting users with 7 rectangles, each
> representing a day of the week, and having users drag and drop items
> to these areas to build the outfits. (The target of the site are
> adults 35-65).
>
> My gut tells me that this is too many items for drag and drop and we
> should explore other interactive options.
>
> Can anyone point me to usability research on drag and drop. Or does
> anyone have usability insights on how and when to use this? I think
> that drag and drop is a complicated interaction solution but perhaps
> users do like them.
>
> Thanks!
>
> ________________________________________________________________
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7 Oct 2009 - 6:47pm
Thomas Petersen
2008

It really depends on how its designed and how well it performs.

The real problem might be the diversity in your age group.

There is nothing that speaks against drag&drop as such, just be
careful when introducing such a metaphor. If this is the only place
you use that metaphor then make sure that some sort of visual guide
will show what to do.

Otherwise introduce more than 1 way of adding items to the boxes.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
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7 Oct 2009 - 7:20pm
Vance Vagell
2009

I'd be most concerned with excessive motor load. Drag-and-drop, by
its very nature, requires a lot of movement. If you go this route,
test for fatigue to see if your design overdoes it.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=46469

7 Oct 2009 - 10:34pm
Clayton Miller
2009

For some time now, I've thought of drag and drop as an evolutionary
step in the development of UIs that may eventually find itself
superseded. In the early days of GUIs, it helped cement the public's
mental models of object-based computing, but it lends a certain
physical continuity that I think may not be as important anymore.

Trivial as it may be, my moment of clarity for this was in playing an
iPhone solitaire game in which cards are not dragged, but rather the
user touches the source, then the destination. I realized just how
much less demanding this was than dragging (indeed Vance's comment
about motor load), and how the animation of the cards supplied all
the physical continuity required.

I think dragging is still necessary when the user is required to
select something on a continuum -- but for a simple target-to-target
connection, a source-destination combination of taps may be all
that's needed.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=46469

8 Oct 2009 - 1:50am
Anonymous

I guess, especially users in your target group are not familiar with drag and drop features on web sites.

The tricky part is to make users understand, that it is drag and drop and how they can use it.

8 Oct 2009 - 3:12am
William Hudson
2009

Elana -

While I am not a great fan of drag and drop (because it is often
misapplied), I would not be too concerned about 30 items.

We routinely do online card sorts for navigation design, some with well
over 100 items that have to be dragged into groups (see, for example,
websort.net). 30 items is pretty much the minimum we use. I have never
had a complaint over the actual drag and drop process even with many
hundreds of participants.

BTW, Websort.net will let you sort photographs if you want to give it a
try (I have no connection with the site but it does output results in
the format our cluster analysis software uses).

[Plug - We will be doing both paper and online card sorting in my course
next week in Las Vegas. See http://www.nngroup.com/events/]

Regards,

William Hudson
Syntagm Ltd
Design for Usability
UK 01235-522859
World +44-1235-522859
US Toll Free 1-866-SYNTAGM
mailto:william.hudson at syntagm.co.uk
http://www.syntagm.co.uk
skype:williamhudsonskype

Syntagm is a limited company registered in England and Wales (1985).
Registered number: 1895345. Registered office: 10 Oxford Road, Abingdon
OX14 2DS.

Confused about dates in interaction design? See our new study (free):
http://www.syntagm.co.uk/design/datesstudy.htm

12 UK mobile phone e-commerce sites compared! Buy the report:
http://www.syntagm.co.uk/design/uxbench.shtml

Courses in card sorting and Ajax interaction design - Las Vegas and
Berlin:
http://www.nngroup.com/events/

> -----Original Message-----
> From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com [mailto:discuss-
> bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of elana glazer
> Sent: 07 October 2009 2:37 PM
> To: discuss at ixda.org
> Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Drag and Drop
>
> Imagine presenting users with about 30 items of clothing and
> accessories and wanting them to build 7 days of outfits (costs are
> calculated per outfit as the output).
>
> My team is thinking of presenting users with 7 rectangles, each
> representing a day of the week, and having users drag and drop items
> to these areas to build the outfits. (The target of the site are
> adults 35-65).
>
> My gut tells me that this is too many items for drag and drop and we
> should explore other interactive options.
...

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