ios scrollbar in desktop application

12 Dec 2010 - 9:51am
5 years ago
1 reply
1186 reads

I just downloaded Sparrow, a mail application for MacOS X that looks pretty much like a iOS app.
It doesn't use native scroll bars, instead uses a scrollbar that resembles the one you see on in iPhone apps.  When new content is displayed that can't fit in the viewport, the scrollbar blinks three times and then disappear and isn't shown until you either scroll (with the mouse wheel) or move the mouse pointer close to the scrollbar area.
I recommend you guys to download the program to check it our yourself.
What do you guys think about this construction?  The blinking part is a bit annoying for me.

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14 Dec 2010 - 11:46am

Well I think there are two problems here

1) Displaying were you are in the page (scroll bar)
2) Displaying when there is new content that is not visible.

As for the first point I do like the disappearing scroll bar. It gives a cleaner look. Yet that is all I can really say it does, give a cleaner look. The extra screen space you get is not that important on a bigger screen (unlike a mobile device). However I wonder how friendly it is to users with not that much experience with computers. If a user does not use a scroll wheel or a scroll touch pad then it could be confusing. 

For the second point. I agree with the blinking becoming annoying. I just checked in iOS and it seems to be present at first and then slowly fade out. This is not nearly as annoying or attention grabbing as blinking. Yet on a larger screen, when the users focus is on the content, a slowing fading scroll bar might not be noticed. 

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