Cursors As State Indicators

April 15th, 2009

Cursors can be used inside of wireframes, or detailed visual layouts as in this case, to hint at states. Overlaying them on top of existing elements can give the viewer a stronger understanding of the multi state nature of the interface through the visibility of mouse positioning. In its most basic form a cursor can hint at an element’s onMouseOver state. In this sample I’ve used multiple such cursors on one screen to show multiple states all at once. I would assume it would also be possible to help understand other states as well (drags, resizes, etc) using cursors.

Have a look over at Konigi’s Wireframe Icon Set which now also contains cursor icons.

Credits: Jakub Linowski

7 Responses to “Cursors As State Indicators”

  1. Sherrod Says:

    I show clicks in my wireframes by drawing three concentric circles around the tip of the cursor. Taking a cue from comics, I also represent a gesture or movement with the canonical three lines indicating the direction. Little things like these allow for cursors to represent more states that just "here" or mouse over.

  2. Tyeshasnow Says:

    I'm going to use this today. Thanks Jakub.

    Sherrod- I like what you're describing. Let's see a sample.

  3. Kaelig Says:

    I used it recently in a google-like interface. The wireframes were really telling a usability story. Very effective.

  4. Jakub Linowski Says:

    Happy it helped! :) Cheers

  5. Theresa Neil Says:

    Cool- I figured I wasn't the only one doing this :o)

    I finally broke down and made a cursor stencil for Omni Graffle after 3 years of having to go hunt down a pointer or busy cursor to paste in.

    It is at Graffletopia if you need it:

  6. Jakub Linowski Says:

    Thanks Theresa for sharing. The cursor icons look great!