The Scrolling Fallacy

  • digitalMedia
  • a.k.a. dM
  • Genius
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 5149
  • Loc: SC-USA

Post 3+ Months Ago

Anyone who works in a corporate environment knows those people who don't really have much to contribute and justify their paycheck by being the consummate naysayers. One of their favorite knee-jerk assertions is that ALL content needs to be presented in the first 400 vertical pixels because users are either too stupid or unwilling to scroll.

I say this is bollocks!

Over the years, I've made it a habit to watch people using web interfaces. In my experiences, the act of scrolling a page is completely second nature. Even my parents, who may be the most computer illiterate people on the planet, have acquired the ability to do this without thinking.

I'd like to hear some thoughts on this. Is the idea that users can't or won't scroll pages a legitimate one?
  • Anonymous
  • Bot
  • No Avatar
  • Posts: ?
  • Loc: Ozzuland
  • Status: Online

Post 3+ Months Ago

  • Don2007
  • Web Master
  • Web Master
  • Don2007
  • Posts: 4924
  • Loc: NY

Post 3+ Months Ago

My father is 87 and doesn't use a PC anymore but just a few years ago, he certainly knew how to scroll.
  • joebert
  • Fart Bubbles
  • Genius
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 13503
  • Loc: Florida

Post 3+ Months Ago

I'd be willing to bet my fingers use the scroll wheel on my mouse more than either of the left or right buttons.
I tend to use the scroll wheel two or more times on every page, whereas I usually only click something on a page once. I make full use of my Home and End keys too so it's not like I'm scrolling for no reason.

Based on that, it would make more sense to get rid of links than it would scrollbars. At least as far as I'm concerned.
  • ATNO/TW
  • Super Moderator
  • Super Moderator
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 23456
  • Loc: Woodbridge VA

Post 3+ Months Ago

Never thought about not scrolling, however, I would be willing to bet that rather than wearing your finger out scrolling the little wheel, I'd venture to say that many people don't realize that they can push the scroll wheel in once and scroll by just moving your mouse slightly up or down.
  • joebert
  • Fart Bubbles
  • Genius
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 13503
  • Loc: Florida

Post 3+ Months Ago

Pressing the scroll wheel and having the screen move around used to drive me nuts, it was tough to control. I'm glad my system doesn't do that anymore.
  • digitalMedia
  • a.k.a. dM
  • Genius
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 5149
  • Loc: SC-USA

Post 3+ Months Ago

I wrote the initial post immediately after submitting some mock-ups to the invisible corporate committee. Sure enough, the feedback was that everything needs to be REALLY small because of scrolling.

Yay for design-by-committee! Medicority lives on! :lol:
  • graphixboy
  • Control + Z
  • Mastermind
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 1828
  • Loc: In the Great White North

Post 3+ Months Ago

you can always use This Article as a basis for your response. (Article has some very good sources at the bottom). If you can get near the committee at all, I've discovered that a well researched response typically goes a long way toward at least getting the majority to agree with your position.
  • Don2007
  • Web Master
  • Web Master
  • Don2007
  • Posts: 4924
  • Loc: NY

Post 3+ Months Ago

I use the end and home keys too. I also you the space bar, page and page down as well as all the arrows in all directions. If you want to make the scroll wheel easier, set it to move 10 lines instead of default 3. It makes all the difference in the world.
  • spork
  • Brewmaster
  • Silver Member
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 6252
  • Loc: Seattle, WA

Post 3+ Months Ago

Don2007 wrote:
If you want to make the scroll wheel easier, set it to move 10 lines instead of default 3. It makes all the difference in the world.

I can't believe I never thought to do this before. I just changed mine and WHAT A DIFFERENCE.

I also use mouse gestures with any application I can, notably Firefox. I have a hard time browsing without them.
  • Don2007
  • Web Master
  • Web Master
  • Don2007
  • Posts: 4924
  • Loc: NY

Post 3+ Months Ago

I'll tell you something else I did to make surfing easier. I set Firefox to only use Courier New and unchecked allow web pages to choose. It's much easier to read.
  • digitalMedia
  • a.k.a. dM
  • Genius
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 5149
  • Loc: SC-USA

Post 3+ Months Ago

graphixboy wrote:
you can always use This Article as a basis for your response. (Article has some very good sources at the bottom). If you can get near the committee at all, I've discovered that a well researched response typically goes a long way toward at least getting the majority to agree with your position.


Dude! That article ROCKS! It never occured to me that someone would have written an article. I thought I was just a lone a-hole on this one. :)

The problem with committee is proximity. I work at home in South Carolina. The company I work for is in Georgia. I deal with the CEO only because he seems to prefer it that way.
  • joebert
  • Fart Bubbles
  • Genius
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 13503
  • Loc: Florida

Post 3+ Months Ago

Quote:
I deal with the CEO


I don't see a problem here. :)
  • digitalMedia
  • a.k.a. dM
  • Genius
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 5149
  • Loc: SC-USA

Post 3+ Months Ago

Well, he filters everything between me and whoever's advising him. So, I never really get to respond to things like, "...that takes up too much real estate. The user will have to scroll [insert gasp]".
  • graphixboy
  • Control + Z
  • Mastermind
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 1828
  • Loc: In the Great White North

Post 3+ Months Ago

Then its your job to give your contact enough info to make an educated decision and overrule whoever is advising him... Give him a list of reasons, at least that way if you still get forced into stuff you can say you tried to help them.
  • devilwood
  • Silver Member
  • Silver Member
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 436

Post 3+ Months Ago

It seems the original author has ran into some people that are having difficulty adjusting to technology. This was one of Einstein's concerns that he pondered on from time to time. The point being, years and years ago scrolling could be difficult for users to grasp due to most mice or all mice at that time not including a wheel. The few people who were online, of course, dialed at a whomping 3kb/sec if they were lucky and sacraficed their first born. Also, they were viewing the content on a CRT dot (some high number here) monitor. Now it's easy to get atleast a 20in LCD flat panel monitor which majorly increases readability. Furthermore, most people didn't have access to alot of time on the computer, therefore, they were mostly unfamiliar with functions like a scrollbar on the side just because they'd never seen it before. I used to catch alot of complaining from my bosses when I first started out web programming back around the turn of the century and a little after because of scrolling and filesize, but now with google analytics the majority of my viewers are

browser:
84% IE
15% FF
1% others

Speed:
Highspeed 95%
dialup 5%

Along with that most PC users are more comfortable with its functionality and scrolling has become second nature to make it possible to view extended pages. I thin when I say most people I'm referring to all age groups across the board. For instance, I remember my father sitting down to his first computer that I bought him. He was 55, silver hair, and left-handed. So, he's sitting square in front of the monitor and then reaches across his body with his left hand and starts trying to work the mouse on his right side. He missed every icon on the desktop when he tried to click and double-clicking was out of the question. A few years later after 9/11 he went to virginia for 2 years to work for homeland and they had him doing basic stuff on a PC mainly emailing and TODAY I can actually email him an attachment and he can open it. Amazing. This is the same guy that also several years ago tried to check his email by putting it in the webaddress field in the browser. You should tell that committee to stop living in the past and look towards the future and stop worrying about pages scrolling ... or buy everyone 50 inch plasma tv's and maybe run s-video. :-) that might take care of scrolling.

One more story about my sister. She sent me an email with her whole message in the subject line. Of course, it got cut off but still I laughed. The moral being: No one is going to do anything right the first time. But the population is getting more and more comfortable with using computers and that's today.

Lastly, how does your company think all these people that use mobile devices are doing it?? I know you gotta scroll content on iphones and blackberries. Do they think those products gross millions of dollars because people aren't using them? Sorry, a little sarcasm.
  • firefox2442
  • Novice
  • Novice
  • firefox2442
  • Posts: 17

Post 3+ Months Ago

joebert wrote:
I'd be willing to bet my fingers use the scroll wheel on my mouse more than either of the left or right buttons.
I tend to use the scroll wheel two or more times on every page, whereas I usually only click something on a page once. I make full use of my Home and End keys too so it's not like I'm scrolling for no reason.

Based on that, it would make more sense to get rid of links than it would scrollbars. At least as far as I'm concerned.

lol
Moderator Remark: Excessive punctuation/emoticons removed

Post Information

  • Total Posts in this topic: 16 posts
  • Users browsing this forum: m2soft and 87 guests
  • You cannot post new topics in this forum
  • You cannot reply to topics in this forum
  • You cannot edit your posts in this forum
  • You cannot delete your posts in this forum
  • You cannot post attachments in this forum
 
 

© 1998-2014. Ozzu® is a registered trademark of Unmelted, LLC.