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Scrollbars Design
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Description

We think we can make a few improvements to how scrollbars look and work.

Larger size

In Blender 2.8, we made it so scrollbars don't make the content jump around as they appear and disappear. However, to do this, scrollbars had to be made very thin.

We would like to make the scrollbars just a tad wider:

Before/after:

This requires creating a little bit of extra space always, so scrollbars have enough space to appear & disappear inside this gutter area.

Unified scrollbars

We can also use this opportunity to unify scrollbars. Currently, list view scrollbars are huge, while the regular 2D view scrollbars are very thin. Here, both are unified:

Before/after

Thickness fading

It's also desirable to keep the scrollbars always visible, rather than making the fade away. This makes them more practical for use with devices with no hover state (some tablets), and also for users to see at a glance where in a list they are.

We can keep these at a very small width. When the cursor is close, we can then make them much more prominent:

Revisions and Commits

Event Timeline

William Reynish (billreynish) lowered the priority of this task from 90 to Normal.Sep 1 2019, 9:38 PM
William Reynish (billreynish) created this object with edit policy "BF Blender (Project)".

can we expose this setting? so it is possible to set it up by user?

Why not change the width of the active versus inactive scrollbar? This way you can get away with a narrower gutter since it would look okay to have the active scrollbar take the entire gutter space.

@Harley Acheson (harley) Yes that might be ok too. The scrollbars then mainly serve just as indicator lines when not in use.

That solution would work without requiring extra gutter space, which is nice, but may be a bit more jarring if scrollbars change size.

Why not change the width of the active versus inactive scrollbar? This way you can get away with a narrower gutter since it would look okay to have the active scrollbar take the entire gutter space.

Personally I prefer the original proposal. Scrollbars changing sizes would be too distracting IMHO.

Either way, it would be an improvement from what we have currently.

I'm all for bringing back the scrollbars usability, now (nearly) unusable - for me, at least.
And for giving the users the ability to set the width/height (depending on the orientation of the scrollbar) to taste.

I like how scroll bars currently work, I find it beautiful and functional as I get closer with the cursor, they stand out ...
I also like that they don't take up too much space when we don't need them.

I really HATE the new scrollbars. I can HARDLY catch them.
It's like shooting a MOSQUITO with a BAZOOKA.

But if you like 1 px wide scrollbars...
The more I get older, the less I understand youngsters.

Can it be done like in macOS? I just received that the primary goal is not to chase OS' behaviour, but if it works, it can be considered.

The scrollbar appears only when there is an attempt to scroll. Even if I put the two fingers on the touchpad, apps would show scrollbars. Lifting the fingers hides scrollbar after 2-3 seconds.

However, it poses a bit of a problem with laptops which don't have multi-finger gestures.(they scroll by holding left key down and then dragging the bar up/down)

I like how scroll bars currently work, I find it beautiful and functional as I get closer with the cursor, they stand out ...
I also like that they don't take up too much space when we don't need them.

I have to agree. Maybe users aren't aware of scrolling options (Hold Middle MB). Having a permanent gutter for the scroll bar would take up space. Managing space with addons and lists and maximizing space could be important for some people.

The UIList scrollbar is too wide currently, and a scroll bar could only be "visually" necessary for large lists, a few rows beyond the UL with a scrollbar as a visual hint, won't always translate it into being actually used (i.e. row is in view anyway or the next row is a few mousewheel clicks away).
For large screens and for those that require the scrollbar, then maybe a increase the scrollbar width by a factor with Resolution Scale (I currently use 1.50 at 1440p).

The question about what percentage of users are inconvenienced with current state of the UI and UX are enough to accommodate as opposed with changes that would upset a larger percentage of those that are happy with the way things are.

I just wanted to make that clear as my addon uses UILists and the wide scrollbar seems out of place and is jarring when it pops in to offset items in the list (even more jarring when in a popup).
I would prefer the scroll bar stay the same as seen with properties and against it permanently visible as it make the UI less appealing.
I would prefer the UIList scrollbar have similar behavior and to me the most pressing issue.

As for tablet:
I have a Huion tablet and the pen button is the MMB (hold for scroll), what is the percentages of users that have a tablet and the percentage of that those that have a table that can't scroll?
Compared to the percentage of users that don't have a tablet?

In summary I don't like any of the proposals. Make UILists scrollbar behave like it does everywhere else as it is.

I am all for this new desing! I think fading the color is a way better method than making the scrollbar thinner or making it disappear entirely.
It makes it much more inviting to use when scrolling massively long lists, which I find way more comfortable than using the MMB drag, which is more convinient for smaller scrolling steps.

! In T69391#815867, @JPG (joules) wrote:

! In T69391#768823, @noki paike (amonpaike) wrote:

I like how scroll bars currently work, I find it beautiful and functional as I get closer with the cursor, they stand out ...
I also like that they don't take up too much space when we don't need them.

I have to disagree with this argument since the scrollbar will always have to take up the amont of space that it has when hovering near it. No space is actually ever saved by making it dynamically thinner. Usually what happens is that the there is a big empty space next to the scrollbar anyway or that when hovering near it, it will start overlapping other UI elements when it becomes thicker.

I guess I see issues with UILists with 2 or more columns, screen factor is 1.50

I guess what worries me is this scenario:


A scroll bar isn't necessary here but already it is hard to make out the unique naming (each is appended with .xxx etc) due to space. A permanent space for a scroll bar, when not needed would limit it even further.

What we have currently on larger lists:


Popping in and offsetting the items is jarring. But also, the list isn't long enough, so more of a visual cue that more items exist in the list than anything else (row needed is in view). With long lists a scrollbar is a great option, sure. My argument is, but how often is that the case to make it a permanent fixture? Which is why an an overlayed scrollbar (that you currently have) is the best middle ground.

wide vs narrow.

Why I would prefer a narrower scrollbar in line with the current scrollbar design elsewhere:


Only a small adjustment in my list design would be needed to avoid overlap.

I saw the proposal as a permanent allocation for a scrollbar throughout the UI, even when needed or not (so wouldn't appear) that I'm not a fan of right now.
I guess I'm happy with the current design elsewhere in the UI and would like that design to be uni-formal to include how they behave with UILists as well.
I guess I'm warning against drastic change to the scrollbar through the entire UI. But perhaps need more convincing :)

I added a patch that can be tried that does a few things mentioned:

  • about a third wider.
  • always shown, but at a smaller size and lowered opacity
  • zooms to larger size and full opacity as the mouse approaches it

https://developer.blender.org/D6505