is it bad practice to set your form to be always on top? Watch

HucktheForde
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Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
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Is it bad practice? i notice some dev do this and its annoying. The always on top is set to default so it jumps in front of whatever you are doing everytime.

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winterscoming
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It depends on the application, but in 99% of cases I can think of, I think most users would find this sort of thing very irritating so yes in most cases it's probably a UX "design smell", unless it's something which the application easily allows the user to toggle on for themselves. e.g. if the application has a preferences menu, where they can toggle it on if they wish, although I would definitely start with a default of having it switched off.

And just for info, the "always on top" option is internally represented by the Windows O/S using a concept known as "Z Ordering", which describes how the O/S chooses to overlap different windows on top of each other based on their order in a list. -- https://docs.microsoft.com/en-gb/win...m=MSDN#z-order


I can think of a few rare cases where it would be a valid thing to do. For example, if you were building a touchscreen app for a supermarket checkout or railway ticket machine and you wanted the app to always be 'on top', and to always be in a kind of full-screen Kiosk mode by disabling most other standard UI features so that it's impossible for users to close the app or do anything with the underlying computer/OS.

e.g. If you had a ticket machine in a railway/bus station you wouldn't want users to be able to close the ticket app and be able to get back to the desktop or run any other apps on it; you'd want it to be totally locked down so that they only thing they can do is use it as a ticket machine.
Last edited by winterscoming; 4 weeks ago
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