| 6:05 pm on Jan 8, 2003 (gmt 0)|
Just make sure you can see the arrows and outline of where the bar is clearly on the site... try to match the colors with your sites layout, and don't use too dark or contrasting colors on the slider and the background of the slider. I think it's a very good idea to use these because they are an extension of your layout.
| 6:06 pm on Jan 8, 2003 (gmt 0)|
I think it depends on the color. If it is changed to black with a site that has a black background then yes it hurts usability. I think to use it effectively it shouls be changed to an accent color that stands out from the page colors that border it.
| 6:10 pm on Jan 8, 2003 (gmt 0)|
It always throws a bit of doubt into my mind when I come across it, I guess the underlying mindset is "hey!...thats MY scroll bar, what are they doing with it?"
Comfort level with the site decreases considerably.
<added> On win 95 it also has a tendency to goof around with the desktop background...not nice at all.
[edited by: john316 at 6:21 pm (utc) on Jan. 8, 2003]
| 6:18 pm on Jan 8, 2003 (gmt 0)|
I will double ditto john316 on that. To me, it looks more like the webmaster is trying to tell visitors, "Hey look how smart I am, I can color your scrollbar!".
Feels like a pink poodle marking his territory on my apple tree... (Where is my shotgun?) :)
Maybe some hormone thing...
| 6:43 pm on Jan 8, 2003 (gmt 0)|
I'll have to ditto the pink poodle analogy as well.
Sure, it's cool, but I always feel uncomfortable with it. I've very rarely seen it integrated so perfectly that I stop and say, "Wow, that's neat."
| 6:47 pm on Jan 8, 2003 (gmt 0)|
What I'm getting at is not what seasoned, jaded webmaster/designers think (no disrespect intended here), but how ordinary, mill-run users react. I'm not trying to reach webmasters.
Does anyone have a feel for this?
I agree, of course, that the colors should tie in with the site's color scheme and not get confused with the background.
| 6:55 pm on Jan 8, 2003 (gmt 0)|
|seasoned, jaded webmaster/designers |
Well, I might fit into that category, but I'm also a web user, perhaps a more critical one, but my opinions and feelings matter.
| 7:21 pm on Jan 8, 2003 (gmt 0)|
And, I'm by no means suggesting that they don't.
| 7:54 pm on Jan 8, 2003 (gmt 0)|
|I'm sure opinions will vary, but am wondering if there's any consensus developing as to whether doing so enhances or detracts from usability. |
If you decide to color your scrollbars, please heed the advice above in regards to color selection. I've used it on a few sites to give the site that complete look on the right hand side.
Be forewarned, the css for controlling scrollbar colors is an IE specific style and will not pass W3C css validation.
It's a fad just like other design techniques of the past. They come and go. If it fits with your design and you don't need 100% valid css, then go for it. Just be careful with color selection.
| 8:06 pm on Jan 8, 2003 (gmt 0)|
Must wholeheartedly agree with john316 and Macguru. It's the type of thing that most throw in just because they can. If not well-done it looks sophomoric -- and I've never seen one well-done.
| 8:12 pm on Jan 8, 2003 (gmt 0)|
What's next - changing the browser toolbars' appearance as well? Shoot the pink poodle.
| 8:15 pm on Jan 8, 2003 (gmt 0)|
|Be forewarned, the css for controlling scrollbar colors is an IE specific style |
Ah, so *that's* why I've never been subjected to it. IE is for testing web sites in, not for actually *browsing* :)
<added>And yes, shoot the poodle.</added>
| 8:30 pm on Jan 8, 2003 (gmt 0)|
OK, lets get a little more debate going here. What's the appeal of pale gray?
| 8:34 pm on Jan 8, 2003 (gmt 0)|
I have never used this on ANY clients site.
But I do have it on my site, and I'll keep it...thanks.
| 8:35 pm on Jan 8, 2003 (gmt 0)|
|What's the appeal of pale gray? |
It's what everyone is used to seeing. Just like link colors are supposed to be blue for not visited and purple for visited.
Also keep in mind that people can change their browser skins which also effect the scrollbar colors. Windows has a plethora of desktop themes that effect scrollbar colors, so does the Mac.
Gray just happens to be the default color on most systems.
| 8:36 pm on Jan 8, 2003 (gmt 0)|
Just a quick comment on "usability"
My main concern in that area is how to keep the visitor from using the back button. Trespassing into the "comfort zone" is a sure way of encouraging good "back button usage".
>>not what seasoned, jaded webmaster/designers think<<
<added>This might be wrong forum. You could try an aol chat room, but they may not know what a scroll bar is.
| 8:46 pm on Jan 8, 2003 (gmt 0)|
I like a colored scrollbar for adding color to otherwise minimalist pages. I use mainly black text on light-colored backgrounds, with colored headings. I sometimes color the scrollbar to match something on the page, usually whatever color I used in the <H> tags. I validate my CSS without the "scrollbar-base-color : #?" bit, then add it in.
I have no idea if this might affect usability, but I've received a few compllments about it from site visitors, and no negative feedback.
It's possible to use different colors for different components of the scrollbar, but I think restraint is preferable to a patchwork quilt effect.
| 9:23 pm on Jan 8, 2003 (gmt 0)|
|OK, lets get a little more debate going here. What's the appeal of pale gray? |
Mine isn't pale gray, but that's not your point or mine. The advantage of the scrollbar and other browser interface components being in the default color/style/whatever is that I am sufficiently accustomed to them to ignore them. Which means more of my attention is focused on your page.
| 10:17 pm on Jan 8, 2003 (gmt 0)|
|I am sufficiently accustomed to them to ignore them |
That precisely is the appeal of pale grey. It disappears from your view when not needed.
It blends into the background. If I don't want to scroll I don't even know it's there. It's unobtrusive.
I like tools that disappear when not needed. If it were bright orange it would be very distracting, even if it were part of the color scheme.
| 11:37 pm on Jan 8, 2003 (gmt 0)|
Just a comment on your targeted audience. I think it goes without saying (but I will say it anyway) that the younger the audience the more you can play with traditional. THe kids that I teach love new and different ways to see the "same old thing." I have seen colored scroll bars look natural within the site's setting and I have seen sites that make me feel like the web master is just showing off. I guess it is just like every other effect out there (from .gif's to Flash), use it tastefully and sparingly.
Moderation is the key.
| 12:50 am on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)|
>>What's the appeal of pale gray?
Hmmm, my GF can live with them. She neither tries to pluck them out, nor tries to stain them pink.
By the way, it's not pale gray, it's distinguished silver. ;)
| 1:01 am on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)|
As a user first time I saw this I panicked thinking it was a virus.
It is not your website, it is my browser that these designers are messing with, and I do not want other people messing with my browser.
| 1:05 am on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)|
For the continued sake of argument, is the fact that DULL pale gray (distinguished silver, Ha!) is conventional, the best argument that can be mustered for it? Personally, I get turned off by flash sites. I'm generally not looking for entertainment, but rather information.
That said, can't webmasters stand for a little bit of innovation? I kind of agree with Buckworks. Why not liven things up just a bit with a little color?
| 1:31 am on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)|
>>For the continued sake of argument
Ok, I give up then, no more free time for you.
>>That said, can't webmasters stand for a little bit of innovation?
Well, feel free to go ahead with this passť "innovation" for any novelty shop or French movies sites.
All the success, and good luck. Over and out.
[edited by: Macguru at 2:00 am (utc) on Jan. 9, 2003]
| 1:56 am on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)|
Page Views, Length of Visit, Depth of Visit: these are things I focus on. Anything that distracts a visitor from what I'm trying to do -- sell them something -- gets hacked right out of the equation. Colored scrollbars -- unless you are doing high end design as one who answered earlier >>otherwise minimalist pages<< -- increases your page load time and distracts the visitor.
May be good for a Flock of Seagulls fan site . . . .
| 2:39 am on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)|
From a usability point of view, you stick with what users are familiar with, which is the default colors. Changing the colors would not make the site more 'usable' in any way that I can imagine, and it may or may not detract from usability depending on the user and other factors.
But that doesn't answer whether or not it will convert users better, instill purchaser confidence, etc. I think it depends highly on your target. As was said above, if your entire design is heavy into the 'design' and is targetted to that audience (say a CSS tips website or something), then sure. If you are amazon, there is no point.
Another thing to consider that does change things a bit is scrollbars within the page. iFrames for example are great places to put somewhat colored scrollbars to match your site design. The friggin scrollbar is in the middle of your colorful page - it doesn't need to be grey. On the side, grey is good IMO.
| 2:45 am on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)|
and you have to think about other browsers subclassing ie engine, like ShellWeb3, they use flat scrollbars. suddenly your scrollbar looks really changed... those browsers are more and more popular these days....
| 3:12 am on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)|
|What's the appeal of pale gray? |
It's not an issue of pale gray being appealing.
If I want to change the color of my scrollbars I'll do it myself. (and I do)
How you decorate your own home is your prerogative.
Driving my car (browser) to your home (site) doesn't mean that I welcome your redecorating my automobile's interior for me.
| 3:14 am on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)|
Ouch! After seeing all this negative feedback on colored scrollbars, I may just have to go back and change my design strategy on a site or two. I usually keep mine to just two colors and I only use 4 of the 6 attributes available. After seeing the responses in this thread, I may have to alter my thinking and that of my client who likes them.
My opinion is if they are done with taste (proper coloring), then it doesn't really bother me. In some instances, it really adds to the impact of the design. I probably wouldn't suggest colored scrollbars for WebmasterWorld. ;)
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