See by comparison this hack I made a few months ago , which uses a dynamic CSS cursor image (drawn in JS). The interesting thing it shows is that CSS cursors can escape the viewport, leading to possible security issues.
It's quite convincing otherwise, and that's very frightening. :)
What are examples of legitimate use-cases for supporting custom cursors? If you're considering using a custom cursors, keep in mind that not all users keep the normal cursor size. At least on macOS, you can increase the size from the Accessibility panel.
Hopefully the web can start providing access to more built-in accessibility features. One such feature that was added recently is Reduced Motion Media Query . Wouldn't it be great to have a media query for "Increase contrast"? I can't be the only one that's occasionally frustrated from websites that mix 50 shades of barely readable gray.
We build web applications serving expert users for which this is essential. For precise selection the default cursor often occludes important information. Think of how confusing something like Photoshop, AutoCAD or Maya would be without contextual cursors.
It would be sensible, however, to place behind a permission in the same way as location or notification APIs. Unfortunately most browsers' UX for permissions is awful.
Common interaction cues that span functions but aren't in the CSS set: multiaxis, rotation, etc.
Not to mention the innumerable domain-specific possibilities. It's another example of the tension between the idea of browser-as-the-future-ubiquitous-platform and browser-as-lowest-common-denominator-mobile-safe-sandbox, which is eroding the established niche of desktop software for deep, focused, domain-optimized work because of the tyranny of CRUDy consumption-focused web apps.
Exactly what actions are possible or potentially expected but actually not possible will naturally depend on context, including the purpose of the application itself, anything already done by the user, and perhaps other factors like whether the user is holding any keys down at the moment. There are endless possibilities where this idea could be useful, from “fill the intermediate cells using rule X” in a spreadsheet to “guard this ally” in a game.
As an aside, UIs that use this technique may also use larger or more complicated tool tips and/or context menus, which means that a lot of the local status and commands within a UI can be viewed in the immediate vicinity of where they are relevant. On larger screens or UIs that divide the available space into different areas for different purposes, that locality can be useful both for reducing user errors and for increasing efficiency.
Kidding, of course. But damn I loved that sort of thing back when. Especially being able to do it with weird plugins as a fledgling "webmaster".
Probably special cursors that indicate a different type of action that can be performed; like the hand-shaped pointer you get when hovering over a button or the various resize arrows, but custom. A tipped paint bucket for example on a website presenting a drawing application.
I like how it seems to work like a vector field
OSX non retina
I was sick of people following their long stale bookmarks and needed to establish the new link.