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6

Other answers have adequately addressed the skeuomorphic inspiration for this convention, but since the question also asked about history, let's look at that a bit. I'd nominate Macintosh System 7.0 (1991, but I vaguely recall the UI style being widely previewed before then) as the originator of this convention... you see the ridging in active scroll bar ...


0

While there are many great answers here that correctly point that this does have physical origins, I would be remiss If I did not point out that the textured areas predate the molded examples shown here and would be Identified as knurling. Searching for that will locate many examples including the classic maglight with its 'knurled aircraft aluminum'.


18

To add to the existing excellent answers. This type of design feature is known as an affordance (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affordance). Notched or textured surfaces are used in real life objects to suggest they can be gripped or pushed by a finger, and this has been adopted as a skeuomorphism in computer UIs. Here's a screen-shot of Java Swing's ...


0

I agree with the gun example and other examples displayed here within but I believe the notion of the 3 notches began in physical product designs to provide users with a scored region of the surface to produce friction for either the removal of a component (i.e. Battery Cover) or enhanced grip (i.e. Gun handle). Below are some really good examples of this: ...


92

While Bowen's gun example is decent, an even better example would be the back of your TV remote control (or many other devices that store batteries under a slide cover): The notching on the pistol, the battery cover, and plenty of other everyday items are primarily to provide extra friction/grip for your fingers, while also pointing out the best place to ...


124

It is a skeumorphic depiction of notching, indicating that the area can be pulled/dragged. Similar to the notching on the end of the gun slide (providing extra grip to the fingers). This appeared as early as Windows 98 (see the bottom right corner of window). Edit: This is not unique to guns, but more of an industrial design technique. See here the ...


0

Just to clarify does the app run in a browser? If it runs in a browser the back/forward is particularly confusing, although if it's not in the browser it's not as big a factor (although still a bit weird given how used people are to browser behaviour!) Agree with the user above that renaming is the easiest way to deal with it, although I'd have a discussion ...


3

Yes, from end user point of view, back/home/forward means the browser navigation functionality. In an full page App, we should avoid those navigation naming that are confusing for user. You could suggest something like Previous | Reset | Next as the options. These will work as their name and will look like the buttons that client asked for. convince them ...



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