Worst scrollbar ever

scrollbar.png

Taken from thawte.com. I made the thing a bit shorter, but changed nothing else.

Small quiz: What is this thing you are seing in this image (possibly displayed on the right in your browser)?

It’s a scrollbar. Or at least, it’s supposed to be one. I came across this “wonderful” … thing when I was looking around for a code signing certificate on thawte.com. Have a look for yourself: It’s right there.

I have quite some problems with this maybe-scrollbar:

  • I can’t read it. Maybe it’s my eyes, but I simply have problems recognizing a dark blue slider on black background.
  • It’s no real scrollbar. It does just look like one. This has many “advantages”:
    • The mouse wheel does not work with this one.
    • The arrow-buttons are much too small for my preference
    • It’s terribly slow as it’s pure DHTML
    • Clicking somewhere on it does scroll the document to the designated point, but it’s terribly slow too.
    • Dragging and Dropping the knob does not work. Firefox (correctly) thinks I want to drag the knob-image somewhere to my desktop
    • Keyboard navigation is not possible
  • But the worst thing of them all: If the browser window is small enough, it gets a (real) scrollbar on its own. But with this one, the mouse wheel does work (no surprise: it’s a real scrollbar). Thus, scrolling through the page with the wheel scrolls, but it scrolls the wrong thing. There is no way to read the whole page using the mousewheel.

The page has a fixed height so the last problem above can occur quite frequently. I see absolutely no sense in creating a DHTML monster to do something the browser already does. I can’t see any drawbacks of the page having a non-fixed height and would rely on the browsers scrollbar.

Can somebody enlighten me?

PS: As comments about usability seem to get constantly more numerous, I have created a usability category. Maybe some time in the future I will actually create a category-based listing :-)