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Re: Vertical vs. horizontal scrolling on a mobile device

From: Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk>
Date: Thu, 28 Mar 2019 21:47:05 +0000
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Message-ID: <c4fae76f-9d7e-4a8f-fd73-acd5cc8e9e5a@splintered.co.uk>
On 28/03/2019 18:36, Mike Elledge wrote:

> When is horizontal scrolling more accessible than vertical scrolling on 
> a *mobile device*? Always? Never? Sometimes?

I would argue (though can't back this up with any hard user research) 
that for users who can operate a touchscreen, horizontal scrolling (as 
long as it's not required to read over-long lines of content - so to 
flick between carousel slides that are never wider than the viewport 
width) is a lot more natural and easy to do (particularly on a 
smartphone in portrait mode) than on a desktop.

> I know that horizontal scrolling on a desktop is to be avoided, but 
> horizontal scrolling seems to be, from a design standpoint, acceptable 
> on a mobile device, to limit the length of page.

Assuming you  mean "to be avoided" in the context of 1.4.10 Reflow, 
there's probably some more nuance here (see 
https://github.com/w3c/wcag/issues/668, but I'd say it's a valid 
differentiation to make even on desktop). But yes, on a high level, 
horizontal scrolling is more unusual on desktop, and not that great 
since it can't be done easily/quickly just with a scrollwheel on a 
mouse, for instance.

P
-- 
Patrick H. Lauke

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Received on Thursday, 28 March 2019 21:47:30 UTC

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