Steering Law for Cursor and Mouse Movements in a GUI Tunnel

Summary: In a graphical user interface, having the user move a cursor within a narrow path (e.g., in a hierarchical menu or a slider) follows a strict law for how easy or difficult it is to do, depending on specifics of the GUI.

Related Article

Accot-Zhai Steering Law: Implications for UI Design

Dropdowns, hierarchical menus, sliders, or scroll bars involve steering a pointer or a cursor through a tunnel; optimal design for these GUI elements should consider the Steering Law.

Video Author

Lexie Kane is a User Experience Specialist with Nielsen Norman Group. Prior to joining NN/g, she worked as a UX Designer for complex financial information systems and she also has extensive experience designing websites and games and in doing user research. She combines her background in psychology with her design and usability experience to drive insights into user behavior that form the basis for increasing the business value of interactive systems.

Learn More

Subscribe to the weekly newsletter to get notified about future articles.