150

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 battery ...


115

Yes there should. Visible scroll bars are an affordance "this page is scrollable" Without visual hints such as this the functionality might be missed.


105

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 ...


103

Some modern design guidelines certainly disprefer persistently-visible scrollbars, but not all. For example, in the Material Design guide, for menus, if a menu is scrollable, it should show a scrollbar. In any case, if your content is scrollable, it should be clear from looking at it that it affords scrolling. It's up to an individual designer or guideline ...


100

Hiding the scroll bar is a bad practice, for a few reasons: some people do not have a scroll wheel - just as you're worried. Some laptops have trackpads with bad scroll detection. Just like how that impoverished county an hour away counts as "3rd world economy" by international standards, so too today do we find unusual relics of usability times 'long ...


62

As a mouse user, I abhor scrollable content that doesn't give me a view of and access to scroll bars. The scroll bar is a control. It allows me to quickly navigate large pages no amount of finger-scrolling, scroll-wheeling, etc. can compare with. It also gives me more precision for most pages than my scroll-wheel. The scroll bar gives me information. It ...


37

So, a few alternatives. Emulating a "real" scrollbar while maintaining infinite scrolling Emulation-oriented approach restore the usual scrollbars while still providing infinite scrolling. They're useful if the content actually has a reasonable end. An image gallery like in the above example is such a thing, while a counter-example would be 9gag's &...


26

Overall, I believe hiding the scrollbar is bad practice. Even if everyone has a scroll-wheel on their mice, people are still prefer the scrollbar to go up and down a page. Also people might become intimidated by the lack of a scrollbar since the bar is an indication that there's more to see on the page than you currently see.


26

This viewpoint comes primarily from the Mac environment, where scrollbars are typically displayed briefly when content first appears, then fade out. When scrolling occurs (user triggered or otherwise), the scroll bar reappears. Only the handle is visible (as a semi-transparent rounded black bar); no arrows or gutter. If the cursor is over the scroll bar when ...


22

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 "...


20

There is no reason to force a user to read the terms and conditions first. It is not a legal requirement and it doesn't improve the UX. Don't do it. Legally they simply have to agree to the terms and conditions, and if they choose not to read them, then that is their problem. UX wise, what part of the experience are you trying to improve by doing this? ...


20

I believe it’s a means of providing the ability to cancel a half-executed command. Imagine a user is 45% down a long page. The user attempts to perform a drag operation on the contents of the window (maybe to move an icon or select some text), but accidentally “catches” the scrollbar slider instead, resulting in scrolling page to X% down, and leaving the ...


19

The arrows on scrollbars are a functional element. If you click on them they move the screen up or down. Clicking on the area between the arrows and the position marker usually moves the screen up or down a page at a time. They are therefore not redundant as nothing else behaves in the same way. Whether or not they are needed is a different issue. While ...


16

Specific to your question title, unless you have absolute control over the platform, you should not make any assumptions about the hardware that your users may be employing. There are a myriad of input devices that already may be in play: touchpads/trackpads, trackballs, mice, touch screens, etc., let alone who knows what may become available in 3 months, ...


15

No. Not everyone has a mouse wheel. Some users don't even use a mouse. They use the trackpad and the keyboard. Now, your real question whether it is good UX to hide the scroll bar and show it only during scrolling: in my opinion.. No. Strictly speaking, users without a mouse and without a scroll bar can still scroll, e.g. using the space bar in the web ...


14

You could use "Return to Top", "Jump to Top" or "Skip to Top". I would avoid using anything but "top", honestly. Alternate words like "beginning" or "start" indicate a time span or activity and are more related to media controls. If you're going for classy "Return to Top" is not a bad choice.


13

In general I try to avoid double scrollbars whenever possible. We've had bad reactions to them in usability testing, and users have reported being stymied when faced with them. Inner scrollbars can confuse users, and are especially frustrating due to mousewheel behavior. For mobile users, it's confusing, especially if there's no good indication that an ...


12

One of the immediate advantages of using inner scroll panels is to maintain page layout when there's an abundance of content that is being displayed. If all content heights are forwarded out to the parent scroll then that can easily make the page very long, and a stress to navigate in. Another advantage, considering your point with how inner scrolling is ...


12

Apple removed scrollbars from appearing, unless in use, from viewports in 2011 with the release of Lion, immediately sparking multiple articles about how to get them back. The usability rationale and merit of this can still be debated today. Not showing it until it is needed is a clean design and does not clutter the display, but the user must figure out ...


11

The removal of scroll bars in my view is another example of the idiotic and shallow ideology of putting style over functionality. This is back to front to how it should be and is indicative of the dumbing down of society to me. Scroll bars serve an important functional purpose that other alternative methods cannot always replicate. I think the change is ...


9

As far as I can tell, there is no good reason for it. The behavior was started by Microsoft (Windows) and sadly taken over in other user interfaces such as KDE. Here is some more e-mail conversation going on about the subject. Many people (including mysef) find it annoying for the simple reason that you look at the windows contents while dragging and ...


8

I have found a heat map study from mozilla ui lab for the firefox browser. It's visualize the user behavior clearly. Mozilla UI lab heat map study Based on over 117,000 Windows 7 and Vista Test Pilot submissions from 7 days in July 2010 The Up arrow on the scrollbar was used on average by 27% of users. The Down arrow was used on average by 33% of users. ...


8

Mac OS X scrollbars has no these arrows (at least by default) for a couple of years already. And it seems like most of the users are OK with this. But, for Mac OS X it's a system-wide change and every (almost) app is affected by it so everything behaves the same way. Actually, I don't see any reason to drop these arrows off (except for the rare design ...


8

Yes, it is confusing, as you have no visual indicator that you have finished the document. The legal issue it the real problem here. In a strict legal sense, you can not be considered to have agreed to part of a document that was hidden from you. This is like someone adding pages to the back of a page in a document that you did not know was there. It is ...


8

This has already been said in the comments, but it really ought to be an answer: Do not hide the scroll bar, because most laptops do not have a scroll wheel. At best they have a rather substandard scroll area to one side of the mouse pad. I speak as someone who took an online exam which assumed the use of a mouse scroll wheel would be possible.


8

I've been in this situation many times. What I've always done is program the app to scroll the child-most element that the cursor is over and only that element: To clarify, when I say only that element, I mean that if you're scrolling an element in one direction and you reach the end of that scrollbar, I program it such that it does not proceed by ...


8

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 ...


8

As a mixed point of view... Horizontal scroll bars are usually a bad thing. It may mean you've optimised for the screen width of a PC monitor, which doesn't translate well to mobile devices. When scrolling down, reading the entire page needs lots of left-right scrolls each screen of content. And conversely those sites will have wasted space on larger ...


7

Where there is a list of content, scrollbars are imperative. Users are being taught to understand scrolling to the end of loaded content & then being able to scroll more after more content is loaded through use of platforms such as twitter and facebook. The scrollbar is no longer necessarily seen an indicator of the length of lists when on a web ...


7

A bad situation to be in, but it somtimes happens when maintaining old applications. There are a few things you could do to make things a little less confusing: Scroll the main window scrollbar by default, and only scroll inner controls if the user explicitly clicks on them. This would also require some visual feedback on which control is currently ...


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