Tag Archives: usability

Just asking… #3 – Scrollbars

On most websites and in lots of widely used applications (Gmail and Microsoft Excel to name just a few) the navigation elements that you use most frequently are on the left hand side of the screen: the complete menu (or the most common menu items in case of top navigation menus), the checkboxes to select emails, the info in the most important columns of a spreadsheet (to stick to my examples)… all on the left had side of the screen.

So, why is it that whenever the webpage or the file contains more content than will fit on a single screen, a scrollbar appears… on the right side of the screen? Especially when you are working with a mouse (or trackpad) on a laptop with a relatively small screen, this can be very inconvenient. You simply keep moving the mouse from the left end side of the screen to the right end side over and over again (yes, dear keyboard-shortcut fan, I do know about keybaord shortcuts, but you will have to admit: they can’t be used in all scenarios).

Is someone benefiting from all those extra cursor-miles? Just asking…

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