Hunting for a Link

There you are, browsing the web, maybe using a popular search engine. You enter your query and scan the results for a title that answers your question. There it is! You see it, the third result. You move your mouse to click.

And what's that? what's happening? You've clicked on something else. Or have you? It seems just when you were about to click on the third result an array of alternatives slid into view, right under your mouse no less!

Sure enough this next page is someone else's. This isn't your page! You mash your back button.

You spy the third result

But you're wary, the primal internet browser inside you knows what happened last time. You approach the link diagonally with your cursor. You wait...

There it is, the menu animated! "Ha!" you exclaim. And click the third result.

...

While you claim victory the war of attrition wages on. That took twice as long as it should have.


Ok, what is it exactly?

The content appears on the screen, you try to select the content, but something changes so that you select the wrong content.

Who's responsible?!

Depends, here are some scenarios

  1. The data is slower to load so it's saved to insert later. Only good intentions by the developer.
  2. The data is an ad and boy do they want you to click it. It's purposefully added when you least desire.
  3. It's an accidental interaction that's maybe known, but it drives the feature's numbers up. "Look at all these users interacting with our menu!" the project manager says.

Sightings

If you've sighted this phenomenon please write in. Here are some known instances.

Google Results

When navigating forwards/backwards. This is a problem on my slower laptop.

MacOS Spotlight

Coming soon.

iOS Search

Coming soon.

social