Reading Danny's bit about Treehandedness reminds me that I've been meaning to mention something about outline UI for awhile now. And that something is this: Why are the disclosure triangles on the left, yet the scroll bar is on the right? I think it's left-to-right reading and the visual semantics of a bullet point colliding with the general right-handedness of most GUIs. If you're a lefty, you may have a different take on this. But at any rate, if you take a peek at my latest in aggregator UI design, such as it is, you'll see that I've opted for sticking the triangles on both sides and clustered the per-item controls over by the scroll bar on the right. You shouldn't need to bounce your mouse from side to side on the screen to interact with this stuff.

Archived Comments

  • Interesting. Never thought of this. However nowadays everybody uses their mouse's scroll wheel to scroll a page - no need to reach for the scrollbars. Well maybe except those poor fools who are still stuck with a single button mouse ;-)

  • Definitely like the right arrows, although the scroll-wheel point is good too.

    And speaking personally, I really don't want to navigate a tree with a mouse at all. I'd rather use page up and page down and have the expand / collapse / follow link under keyboard control.

  • There's little to add to the "no one uses the scroll bars" thing. But I do not have a mouse wheel (PowerBook, using the touchpad) and I still never really use the scrollbars.

    OTOH in some GUIs the scrollbars are actually on the left for exactly these reasons: left is where you start reading and where you concentrate the most. And the right end of lines is often way out of your focus. Additionally the right hand side if often far away from the end of a line (short lines in wide windows)... So actually the left sided outline controls might be right where they should be :) and the scrollbar is not (on most GUIs)

    I really like it if I can navigate using the keyboard!