User Interface Post #2: Nonreactive scroll bars
User Interface Design: Scroll bars that do not react to mouse wheel
Our screens are much higher resolution than they were 10 years ago. Nevertheless, with web content we often still have to scroll to get places. This pain has been alleviated with the advent of the near ubiquitous mouse wheel. There are few things that irk me more while browsing the web or using supposedly Web 2.0 type technologies than custom coded components that do not react at all to the scroll wheel. This often occurs in embedded video files that are age gated, as well as in long dropdown menus.
See, for example, the Assassin’s Creed 2 trailer
I don’t know whether I’ve ever seen the scroll wheel react correctly within an embedded video file like that, so I’ll cut them a little slack. When it’s within components like drop down menus on a website, that’s just absurd.
The reason why scroll bars are a pain to use in the first place is because they require fine motor skills to grab the narrow bar (probably less than 20 pixel wide).
I’m sure there are lots of other examples throughout the web.
This is just one specific example of a more important design philosophy: Don’t mess with things that users expect to be standardized and behave in certain ways.