Take the 2-minute tour ×
User Experience Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for user experience researchers and experts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

The Contacts view on iOS consists of a Quick search filter field, the contact list itself and an annotated scrolllbar that lets people jump directly to specific letters.

To me the annotated scrollbar is redundant. If I enter a letter in the search field the list is filtered and only show the contacts that contains that letter which is the same as if I click on the letter in the annotated scrollbar. To me the search field is superior when I want to find a specific contact.

What are the use cases for using both an search field and an annotated scrollbar?

enter image description here

share|improve this question
    
"To me the search field is superior when I want to find a specific contact." That might be your answer. To you the search field is preferable, but others may prefer to scroll. –  JonW Jan 20 at 15:13
    
Yes, perhaps it's that simple. –  Tony Bolero Jan 20 at 15:15
2  
Think of the following user journey "I'll give Steve a ring. Now, did I file him under 'Steve' or under his nickname 'Loco'...?" It'd be much easier to find him if you could dart between 'S' and 'L' (and whatever else you have him under) via scrollbar than having to open the keypad, search for a letter, hit enter, close keyboard.... –  JonW Jan 20 at 15:21
add comment

2 Answers 2

UPDATE:

Tog already replied to a similar question at Ask Tog.

I agree with JonW. Although this might seem redundant, it supports browsing and searching in a graceful way, without getting in the way.

Another interesting side effect is that it provides a better way to browse than an scroll bar would. Instead of having to scroll until you find a visual cue of what you are looking for, it gives you the visual cue first (letter 'J'), and you can jump directly to it.

Conclusion

If you are able to implement interactions that support finding and browsing this seamlessly, and without getting in the way, do it! Some of your users might prefer browsing, others might prefer finding. Furthermore the preference will depend on the use case they want to accomplish.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Searching is only practical with a large number of contacts. Scrolling is more practical with a small number of contacts. To facilitate the middle ground where you might only have a small number of contacts, but too many to look at each name to figure out which letter you're on there's this rolodex style annotated scrollbar.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.