Enhancing Dropdowns Using Linear Algebra Techniques

David Jones
Mar 7, 2013

Dropdowns: you use them every day but how can they be improved?

Ben Kamens writes about how Amazon uses a sprinkling of linear algebra to improve user experience when interacting with their mega dropdown.


Moving the cursor from the 'Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry' menu item to 'Clothing' in the submenu was previously quite tricky. Get it wrong and you'll find yourself opening a different drop down menu. Frustrating.

Dropdown that is tricky to navigate


Amazon opens up the area that the cursor can move through by calculating a triangle between your mouse and the top and bottom of the open dropdown menu.

Now you can quickly and directly move your cursor to 'Clothing' without frustration.

Dropdown that is easy to navigate with linear algebra

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