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Is there an agreed upon name for this, where a website or app loads elements piecemeal so we click the wrong thing by mistake?

I know it exists as an intentional dark pattern (so we just think that's what happened). But it also seems so common now across computing and it pisses me off every time.






Laggy loading of items into a tappable target area is begging to be called the “slow poke” pattern

In my opinion, Windows search is the absolute most infuriating example of this, compounded by how slow it is. Let's name it so we can shame it

Just yesterday I tried to type "Network and sharing center". Apparently it does not exist in the index which is quite annoying, I have to click through the control panel (after accidentally ending up on a web search). Windows 10 is an odd beast with multiple generations of UIs all nestled away.

My only explanation is that the Windows 10 search rewrite metadata was outsourced to a team that didn't actually know how Windows works.

It seems like they stripped all metadata, including visual names of items themselves, and instead substituted random words.

The result is like playing a text-based adventure game without a list of the verbs the game supports.

Per memory, 7 and even 98 had a perfectly reasonable and accurate search.


Yes! For example, opening Visual Studio Code:

If I type VS... Visual Studio Code! Cool. (wonder why it did not suggest Visual Studio itself which I also have installed, buy hey I got what I wanted)

If I type VSC... ??? config files and some random XMLs from the deep realms of AppData

If I type vscode... No results, try a web search!

If I type Visual Studio... THE Visual Studio shows, but no Code in sight

If I type Visual Studio Code... There it is again!

---

The whole rigmarole is just... Huh?! How does one even reach that point? I can't think about any naive buggy way that could reasonably cause such discrepancy of results. Just search by Filename and Display Name! Or whatever criteria, but be consistent!


When I start typing "solidworks" it alternates (with lag) between the Solidworks core software and Solidworks Explorer. I only get the right one ~half the time, since it seems like it will open the one that would have loaded rather than the one that is at the top of the list when you hit enter.

I definitely feel there's some poor-UX lazy loading of results.

But literally mystified why there isn't a prebuilt index table that instantly loads the top results.

All Windows apps / panels + last 250 files opened shouldn't be hard.


Trying to get to the network devies page is equally infuriating- it's under network adapters and options in Control Panel, and may or may not actually be accessible from the new Settings app- I don't remember.

Even better, try setting the dead zones on an XInput game pad. Off the top of my head, it goes something like: “Settings” > “Bluetooth and other devices” > “Printers and other devices“ > Right click your game pad > “Gamepad Settings” > select your gamepad > “Ok” > “Deadzones”

The really sad thing is that Windows has multiple accessibility layers for every visual control (e.g. Active Accessibility).

So there is literally already a textual, and usually interpretable, path to any window.

Apparently tying search into that made too much sense though, and so instead we get a reinvented (slightly square) wheel.


Win+R -> ncpa.cpl

How could I have forgotten?

Runs fine for me. Are you using a SSD or a hard drive?

I want to know this too. Another example is Google search. If you search, click on a search result and then go back then a panel slowly appears below that link. So if you are going to click the next link, it interferes with that.

Someone once told me this is called being "matador-ed" because it's just like pulling the cape away from the charging bull.

I love that term and the Android share dialog has always been my top example.


"reflow" or "layout jank" are ones I've seen a fair number of times (not sure if "jank" was intended as "stuttering" or "unreliable", but both work if you go for the feeling)

I've heard "jank" in speedrunning used to mean "badly-implemented interaction logic that makes the timing for a reflex action non-deterministic / non-learnable", which fits perfectly here.


A dark pattern is intentional, most of the stuff I'm talking about seems to be from ignorance or indifference.

Asynchronous element loading saves time overall but it costs time when key UI elements rearrange. It's probably difficult to pull off but linear/blocked/sequential loading for the current viewport and offscreen asynchronous loading is probably what we need to avoid this (or ugly placeholders).


Google prioritizes time to first draw. Do they prioritize time before the page is completely loaded? I don’t know the answer but if they’re going to stay in the business of ranking pages on speed, they should be putting that as a higher priority for their rankings. Too many times I’m reading the content and yet the browser is still loading... something. What? I have no idea.

Three Card Monte?

I find this happens with computer game UIs a lot, too, especially for dynamic UI elements that float above static UI elements. Especially when there is a lag due to animations.


"Progressive enhancement" came to mind with an /s subtext on the side.

But then I thought of: "Percusssive enhancement". Maybe not semantically 100%, but... not 0%.


This happens with Google Chrome address bar suggestions on Android too. Drives me nuts every time.

The Chrome reload gesture also gets in the way sometimes. It's especially infuriating when there's a link you want to click on the page (that's still loading), but additional content causes the content to scroll down as you're tapping the screen so Chrome misinterprets this as you wanting a page reload.

Google recently started doing this. I literally never click google ads, and today about four times I've click on ads because the thing I want is result #1 but just as I'm about to click three ads load in and I click the first ad.

Wild guess: it's a bug but it looked good in A/B testing. The change was supposed to increase ad click rates and it did. Job well done, ship it!

I swear I've had images and videos switch places as I'm clicking on the search results tab.

Or maybe I have 15 years of expectation that images is going to be the second tab.

Edit: nope, just did a search, it started web images videos then right when the page finished loading it switched to web videos images

So only does search not work anymore, it's unnavigable

Edit 2: it's not just video, it rearranges the tabs based on relevance. "John wick" will move videos to the second spot. "San Francisco" will move news second and maps 3rd.

I get it, but I also don't.




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