Monday, 14 November 2011

Scrollbars: Time to banish them

Theres two implementations of scrollbars which need to be

First, Ubuntu scrollbars are annoying. Very annoying. The Ubuntu
scrollbar is invible until you move the mouse close to where
the scrollbar is and then the partial scrollbar appears. Why?
Its unobvious and annoying having to have your eyes track for the
existence of the scrollbar before you can scroll. 30+ years of GUI
development chucked down the drain.

Second, an iPod scrollbar. When watching a movie, many shows I record
from TV have adverts. They are predictable. If I am watching a 2hr or
more show, and an advert appears, then I use my finger to scroll
past them. But on a long show, a 2-5min interlude is a tiny
fraction of the scroller, and its nearly impossible to do this accurately,
especially as the ipod/iphone scrollbar is not analogue, but digital
in nature, leveraging 10s-1m+ scrollable fragments. The ipod has a way
to fine-scroll, but for a long film, its very difficult to scroll
accurately whilst keeping an eye out for where the advert break ends.

Whats really needed for the ipod is a scrollbar which is wider
than the screen, so you can quickly "flick thru" without worrying
that the longer the show, the more inaccurate the scroller is.

(Another bad design: why cant you see the title of what you are watching
on the scroll area? One has to stop watching the show to see what it
is you are watching.)

The scroller size on an ipad is not an issue, because there are so many
pixels to play with.

If you think scrollbars are easy, then think again. If you are
scrolling through a 1-million line file, there are not enough pixels to
scroll to an arbitrary line in the file. Even CRiSP uses a
fractional position, which for larger files can mean a single pixel
move of the scrollbar could map to 1000 lines in a file on a 1000-pixel
high scrollbar.

Post created by CRiSP v10.0.17a-b6103

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