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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]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I am sufficiently accustomed to them to ignore them
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.
Moderation is the key.
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?
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]
May be good for a Flock of Seagulls fan site . . . .
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.
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.
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. ;)