Web Designing

Design of Drag-And-Drop For Ease of Use

Jul 09, 2020

Umesh Kumar

There might be absolutely no one who has not come around the drag and drop feature. It is widely used in PCs, mobile phones, and everyday activities where you drag something with your hand and put it at another place. A majority of users are familiar with this function as it is useful for moving, grouping, or resizing objects.

Introduction to the drag-and-drop function

Introduction to the drag-and-drop function

When you select an object and move it to drop at any other place is referred to as the drag-and-drop option. You might be familiar with this action under the name of ‘copy and paste’ that you perform in your computer or ‘attaching a file to your mail’. It is smooth, easy, and time-saving at the same time. Drag and drop website builders use it to improve the user convenience as it saves time to attain the desired result.

Basis of Drag-And-Drop work

Introduction to the drag-and-drop function

Follow these basic steps to enact this option:

  • Find an object and click with a finger on it once.
  • Hold the tap and begin to drag.
  • Drag and drop it at the destination.
  • You get a copy of the moved file or the dragged object.

Working of Drag-And-Drop

Drag-and-drop is a kind of direct manipulation which works as follows:

  • Same as many other direct-manipulation interactions, the items need to be visible on the screen. Although we can drag the invisible objects, its usability might suffer.
  • Objects such as a mouse click are needed to initiate the interaction.
  • The user selects the object (with continuous pressure) and moves the finger or mouse to reach the desired destination. This explains the drag operation.
  • Next, the user can unselect the object by losing hold of the mouse button. This is the drop part of the operation.

The simplicity offered by Drag and drop

The following types of actions become simpler with the drag and drop function:

  • Starting a default action: When the object is moved to some icon of a .exe file, which knows how to open that particular type of file.
  • Attachment: When the object is dragged with attachments in the working field.
  • Uploading: It can combine the default action with attachment and make things simpler.

Importance of the drag and drop function

A new copy of the object is created that is moved from the drag and drop website builder’s side panel. This action allows you to create several lines of PHP/HTML code automatically with respect to the webpage type that you are working on. This code explains the following properties of a newly dragged object:

  • Its behavior- either in a calm or a balanced state.
  • Its size.
  • Properties that are disclosed when the object is clicked.
  • It states whether it is active or not.
  • Its absolute page location.

It is possible to move everything ranging from texts, videos, images, buttons, widgets, menus, and tables to change layers using the drag and drop function. You can double-click on an object with a mouse to enable the menu that lists several actions like copying, moving, editing, and deleting.

The automation of manual coding and getting things done in minimum time is only one side of the coin. On the other hand, the drag and drop option has limited creativity. To dive beyond it, effortless coding is needed, which does not prove to be affordable always as it requires an efficient programmer. So, don’t expect total freedom as the nature of this feature puts limitations on your actions.

Accessibility of drag and drop option

Traditionally, the drag and drop option was only a touchscreen or mouse interaction but now it is necessary to make it accessible for users who are involved in assistive technologies too. Make sure of two things that-

  • Your handle icon has the keyboard accessibility to be able to grab the item via the spacebar.
  • And, your handle icon displays screen reader messages to indicate the current action of an object (its position or size).

Implementing drag and drop on touchscreens

Introduction to the drag-and-drop function

Due to the lack of hover states, it is difficult to implement drag-and-drop on touchscreens. First, it is necessary to ensure that at least an unused space of 1cm x 1cm is left for dragging the objects so that any crucial feedback is not covered. Secondly, it is important to distinguish between a tap, scroll, and an intentional grab by using a few milliseconds as a timing delay.

You can provide clear feedback about the grabbing of an object on mobile by using haptics. A subtle bump can show that the object is grabbed, and the other one can display that it has been dragged to a dropped zone.

Since cursor change is not available on touch screens, it is advised to use drag and drop when

  • There is no other choice with the menu-driven interaction costs.
  • You are sure that your users expect the availability of the drag and drop action.

Final Word

Drag and drop website builders are not always a good choice for creating a website. But, when the users accept it, the interaction must be relatively straightforward. Use apt signifiers like handle icons and offer clear feedback right through the interaction to make the drag and drop function effective and accessible.

Umesh Kumar