Dear developer, leave scrolling alone

Find something else to break!

Developers are so nice. They want to do all the work for you so you don't have to lift a finger. If you look at modern video games, you press a single button and the character runs, jumps, shoots all the enemies while in the air, tackles the big boss, saves the world and is home in time for supper. Then when you press 2 buttons together... you get the point.

When the browser lacks a feature, I welcome the work developers do to add functionality before the browser supports it. But scrolling is not a problem. Scrolling works. When I want to scroll, I can spin the mouse wheel, flick the phone screen, use two fingers and slide on my touch pad. There is nothing to add to it.

The scroll UI is fine, even if it looks slightly different from browser to browser. When I see it I recognize it. When you change it to something else I don't. Scrolling already works.

Double click doesn't mean I want you to scroll down, neither does double tap. When I scroll, don't use some fancy ease in or ease out, no matter how you are doing it, it is slow and buggy, let the browser handle it.

There are many things that can improve the web experience, scrolling is one of those things that is doing just fine. The only time it needs help is when we are using dynamic content and the back button breaks the experience. When I scroll down multiple times more content is generated, when I click on a link, consume the content, and then click on the back button, usually it doesn't take me back to the right place. This is a hard problem and I admire everyone who tries to make it better. But that's what we try to imitates native apps on the web.

But for all the other scroll non sense, please stop. Many times, a web page crashes because there is too much work being done for each pixel being moved. There are ways to deal with that without breaking the scroll.

When developing a web app, remember that it is not a native app. No matter what we do, an application running on top of another application cannot perform better then the underlying application. Limitation is sometimes the source of great innovation. Let's stop imitating native apps and create good experience with the tools we have.

I'm looking at you


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