On scrolling

August 11th, 2008  |  Tags: ,

Adam Engst points out that “you pull down on a Mac scroll wheel to scroll down, but push up on an iPhone/touch to scroll down.” This confused me for my first couple of days of iPhone use, but it makes a little more sense when you consider the underlying metaphor: on the iPhone, the idea seems to be that you are “grabbing” the paper and moving it under the window. Therefore, on the iPhone, your scrolling mimics moving the paper with your fingers under the viewport; on the Mac, you mimic moving the window through the document. (The latter behavior makes much less when I think about it, but I suspect it is an artifact of the first scroll wheel applications.)

(I remember being similarly confused when I first used the Sibelius music notation software on my Mac, which also uses a “grab the page and move it under the window” idea. It probably didn’t help that I was having to unlearn many years of Finale ninjahood….)