submitted 8 months ago* (last edited 8 months ago) by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

Despite being a heavy cell phone user for more than 25 years, it only recently occurred to me that vertical navigation on most phones is inverted when compared to traditional computers. You swipe down to navigate upward, and up to navigate downward. I recently spent time using a MacBook, which apparently defaults to this "natural" scrolling (mobile-style), and I was completely thrown off by it.

I've been using natural scrolling on a couple of my own desktops ever since, mostly as a mental exercise, and I wondered...how many of you folks prefer this method?

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[-] [email protected] 121 points 8 months ago

Trackpads and touchscreens get the phone way of scrolling.
These feel like you are interacting with a piece of paper, so you move the paper around.

Mousewheels get the traditional way of scrolling.
Mice are more like controlling something.
It just is. Like F1-F12 keys are always F1-F12 keys, not the alt-function (like media/brightness etc).

I hate that Apple has called it "natural" Vs "reverse" in some psychological reconfiguring that you are going against the grain if you don't agree with them (as opposed to them changing the established standard).

[-] [email protected] 11 points 8 months ago

Good points all around, though I do use my alt-functions more than the function itself.

[-] [email protected] 9 points 8 months ago

I use natural on the trackpad and traditional using a mouse.

[-] [email protected] 111 points 8 months ago

It's a good thing Apple doesn't make cars. They'd put the gas pedal on the left just to be different, and claim it's more "natural" that way.

[-] [email protected] 31 points 8 months ago

Don't give Tesla any ideas.

[-] [email protected] 9 points 8 months ago

Yeah, they would probably let you pay a small fee per month for this feature.

[-] doubletwist 14 points 8 months ago

My absolute biggest complaint with my BMW. The electronic gear shifter. Want to go backwards? Push the shifter forward. Want to go forwards? Pull the shifter backwards. Fucking genius! <\s>

[-] [email protected] 8 points 8 months ago

Isn't that somewhat accepted like with sequential transmissions pushing forward downshifts and pulling back upshifts

[-] [email protected] 9 points 8 months ago* (last edited 6 months ago)

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[-] SoonaPaana 70 points 8 months ago

I never remember which one is natural and which one is reverse. When I use a mouse or a trackpad, I am moving the scroll bar. When I am using a touch screen, I am moving the content.

[-] [email protected] 11 points 8 months ago

That makes sense and is probably the best no-nonsense rationale I've seen yet.

[-] [email protected] 7 points 8 months ago

my idea is that when I scroll on the mouse, the bottom part of the scroll wheel touches the content

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[-] [email protected] 47 points 8 months ago* (last edited 8 months ago)

The thing you're apparently calling "traditional" seems natural to me.

I've never really stopped and thought about it before, but as far as I can figure, my brain expects the part of the system that does or would actually touch the surface to drag the screen in a particular direction through the simple workings of physics.

On a touchscreen, it's simple - it's my finger actually touching the screen and it drags the screen around exactly as I'd expect.

With a mouse, my finger isn't the important part because it's not touching the surface (or more precisely, the mousepad that substitutes for the surface). Rather, my finger is contolling the mouse, and the underside of the mouse is touching the surface. And as far as that goes, the "traditional" way it works is correct - when I move my finger downward on the mouse wheel, the bottom side of the wheel - the part that would actually be touching the surface if it was a purely mechanical system - is moving upward, so would drag the screen upward.

So to me, that's what's natural.

[-] [email protected] 8 points 8 months ago

I couldn't explain this as good, but to me tradition has always felt natural. 100% on a mouse, but also mostly on a trackpad.

[-] [email protected] 7 points 8 months ago

I think the big contention comes with touchpads. They are half way between a mouse and a touch screen. Traditionally they acted like mice, you two finger down to scroll down like on a mouse wheel - but you have no wheel so are directly touching the surface. Much more like a touchscreen.

So to me traditional feels natural to me on a actual mouse, but on a trackpad natural feels more natural. I really hate that on the Mac you can only set all mouse life devices one way and not be able to have actual mice behave different to trackpads like I can on Linux systems.

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[-] [email protected] 46 points 8 months ago

"Natural" only seems natural if you were raised mostly on touchscreen devices, I've never seen a desktop have inverted scroll like that.

On a side note, Why do so many Linux programs not support auto scrolling by default if at all?

I didn't even know autoscroll was the name of middle clicking to scroll were your mouse went until I switched to Linux and noticed it missing in certain places.

[-] [email protected] 10 points 8 months ago

I think it is because of Unix/X11 tradition of the middle mouse button being for pasting the most recently selected text.

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[-] [email protected] 41 points 8 months ago

There is nothing natural about "natural scrolling".

[-] [email protected] 16 points 8 months ago* (last edited 6 months ago)

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[-] [email protected] 10 points 8 months ago

It feels like gaslighting.

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[-] [email protected] 38 points 8 months ago

Natural is totally unnatural.

[-] [email protected] 37 points 8 months ago

In the beginning, the mouse did not have a wheel. The only way to move the view was by dragging the scrollbar with the mouse pointer. So when we got mouse wheels, it was easy to just connect the wheel to the scrollbar. And thus the traditional direction makes sense since you are moving the scrollbar, not the view. With time, the scrollbars became more and more hidden, and we got a disconnect between what we were scrolling (the almost hidden scrollbar) and what we thought we were scrolling (the view). When you think of it as manipulating the view directly, the natural scroll makes sense. Because that is what we do in touch devices (manipulate the view directly).

That said, I use traditional scrolling because it's what I am used to.

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[-] [email protected] 32 points 8 months ago

Traditional with mice, natural with touchpads.

Interesting story, I used traditional scrolling with touchpads all my life until I spent three years exclusively using a desktop. Came out of it suddenly rewired to scroll like I do on my phone.

[-] [email protected] 30 points 8 months ago

Traditional for mouse, natural for touchpads.

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[-] [email protected] 28 points 8 months ago* (last edited 8 months ago)

Real gangstas also switch their PGUP and PGDN keys to natural scrolling.

[-] [email protected] 14 points 8 months ago

Easy there Satan

[-] [email protected] 23 points 8 months ago

Traditional - unless it is fingers on the screen!

[-] [email protected] 22 points 8 months ago

I use traditional scrolling for everything except touch screens.

[-] [email protected] 18 points 8 months ago
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[-] [email protected] 18 points 8 months ago

Traditional for both scroll wheels and trackpads (trackpads are emulating a mouse, you heathers!) And inverted Y for gaming.

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[-] Ddhuud 18 points 8 months ago

You meant traditional or the wrong way. There's nothing natural about it.

[-] [email protected] 16 points 8 months ago

I hate how natural is called natural cuz there's nothing natural about it, when using a touchpad or mouse you're controlling the viewport, mouse down should move the viewport down

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[-] [email protected] 14 points 8 months ago

Start realising that the way you're used to scrolling with your mouse wheel, is a cog between you and the service it's moving. Actually you were using natural all along. It was the early touch pads that were wrong and nonsense.

[-] [email protected] 12 points 8 months ago

This! I use traditional with wheels and natural with touchpads

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[-] Presi300 13 points 8 months ago

Traditional for everything, mouse or touchpad, natural scrolling fcks with my brain

[-] [email protected] 13 points 8 months ago

Traditional. I'm too old to learn new things

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[-] [email protected] 13 points 8 months ago

If it's a touch screen then the "natural way" is more intuitive, as it feels like grabbing the actual subject matter and moving it in a direction while my view point stays the same. Once my hand is not touching the subject matter, the traditional way is the only one that makes sense to me. I also get annoyed when something has scroll wheel zoom and up is zooming out, I have to reverse that back or I just don't use it.

[-] [email protected] 12 points 8 months ago

I hate "natural" scrolling but I understand that it's only because I've been conditioned for decades with the traditional desktop scrolling method. It's not "better", it's just not worth the effort to retrain myself for something that is merely equivalent.

UI design should not be dictated by what people learned on decades-old systems. It should be designed just as much for new users. So even though I personally hate it, I think it's a reasonable default.

I remember when I first started using GUIs, the scrolling direction seemed counterintuitive. As I introduced beginners to computing in the 90s, I saw many with the same confusion at first. "Why does it move up when I press down?" Everyone got used to it pretty quickly, but that doesn't make it "right".

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[-] [email protected] 11 points 8 months ago

Traditional for mouse and natural in case of touchpads. That what I use with my Mac :)

[-] [email protected] 11 points 8 months ago

Natural on mice, traditional on trackpads.

[-] [email protected] 6 points 8 months ago

You monster!

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[-] archy 10 points 8 months ago

Traditional. I imagine the mouse wheel on top of the screen, as if the wheel scrolls the screen content

[-] AgentGrimstone 9 points 8 months ago

Traditional all the way. "Natural" is not right.

[-] [email protected] 8 points 8 months ago

Traditional for mouse (and trackpoint).

Natural for touchpad.

[-] [email protected] 7 points 8 months ago

Traditional for everything. Scrolling down means the view goes down. The mouse controls the camera (the reason why I always invert Y axis on controllers).

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this post was submitted on 24 Sep 2023
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