In the webpage, are there still many people dragging scroll bar to scroll down/up instead of Using wheels on the mouse or just two fingers' swiping on laptop's touch pad. I know for most mac users they will use the touch pad or mouse wheel. But I think there still should be some number of PC users are using click and drag to control the scroll bar. Isn't it?
Though I couldn't find any research data about whether people use the scroll bar or not,other than enabling users to scroll down the page, scroll bars also provide a visual affordance to users that additional content is present below which they must scroll to see. If you hide your scrollbar, users might be aware of the additional content and may not scroll down. To quote this article from Nielsen
- Offer a scrollbar if an area has scrolling content. Don't rely on auto-scrolling or on dragging, which people might not notice.
- Hide scrollbars if all content is visible. If people see a scrollbar, they assume there's additional content and will be frustrated if they can't scroll.
For example, if you take the image below
The scrollbar tells me that there is additional content which I can reach by either scrolling down using the mouse or using the scrollbar but most importantly it serves a s a visual affordance.
This is just anecdotal being my usage.
I tend to use scroll wheels when reading a page and want to scroll a small amount, but if I have moved the cursor for some reason I might use the scroll bar.
However when I want to scan through a page or move to a given part (e.g. near the end) I will ouse scroll bars as they give an indication of where in the document you are.