I have always found scrolling on a mouse or trackpad to be a very inefficient tool. Most, if not all, are inaccurate to some degree, and when reading a lot of text/content, a scroll down often causes you to find where you were last reading.
Using page up/down is always perfectly accurate, and you never need to waste time finding your place again in a large amount of text. Whether used in a web browser, terminal window, or any window, the same efficiency holds true.
The true beauty of these two very useful keys is that they adapt 100% to the resolution of the window. Other than one line to remind you where you were, everything you see is either the next or previous page of text based on window resolution. So simple, yet so elegant.
Most computer users I know will actually scroll all the way to the bottom when thats where they need to be, rather than use the End key, or the opposite situation and not using the Home key. So incredibly inefficient and self-defeating.
The mouse is a legitimate tool, but there are certainly cons to using them predominantly. The main one being that it creates more of a gap between computer function, and user comprehension of that function. They are useful for gaming and basic GUI interaction (clicking on things), but the scroll wheel to me is only ever efficient for switching weapons in a game. I rarely use laptops so my use is dominated by desktop based mice. Not Apple mice either. They stopped caring about desktop users years ago.
Don’t look at this in an anti-scroll way. The intent is to always encourage the most efficient methods, and ones that advance the users interaction with the system and OS. More keyboard and less mouse will always improve all these things.
*This post was originally on PowerPC Liberation, but has been moved here.
Categorised as: Uncategorized