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RE: Vertical vs. horizontal scrolling on a mobile device

From: Jonathan Avila <jon.avila@levelaccess.com>
Date: Sat, 30 Mar 2019 00:15:39 +0000
To: Wayne Dick <wayneedick@gmail.com>, Garry Grant <garry@seoinc.com>
CC: Mike Elledge <melledge@yahoo.com>, "w3c-wai-gl@w3.org" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, "Patrick H. Lauke" <redux@splintered.co.uk>, Dalton Grant <dalton@seoinc.com>, Kim Grant <kim@seoinc.com>, Amber Grant <amberlgrant@gmail.com>, Dustin Garland <garlanddustin11@gmail.com>
Message-ID: <BN6PR03MB3139CDC0B78C58EBD899EBE8F15B0@BN6PR03MB3139.namprd03.prod.outlook.com>
I agree that horizontal scrolling for reading lines of text is the issue.  I would add however, that lack affordances for horizontal scrolling can be problematic as people may miss the presence of additional content.  I would also comment that if horizontal content contains many items and screen reader users are forced to navigate through all of it then there would need to be an easy way to bypass that content to access the content past it.  That is – it’s very easy for a sighted user to skip over it but when screen reader users are forced to read through 50 horizontal items it can be problematic.


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From: Wayne Dick [mailto:wayneedick@gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, March 29, 2019 6:03 PM
To: Garry Grant
Cc: Mike Elledge; w3c-wai-gl@w3.org; Patrick H. Lauke; Dalton Grant; Kim Grant; Amber Grant; Dustin Garland
Subject: Re: Vertical vs. horizontal scrolling on a mobile device

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There are two kinds of scrolling: page or column scrolling, and inline scrolling. An app that goes from page to page or column to column as in ebooks, carousels and data tables is harmless. It is what happens inside the page or column content that is a barrier to reading. When you have to scroll to read information within a line of text then your scrolling causes the reader to lose context, forget past content on lines, have difficulty navigating from line to line and take between 50-150 times the number of scrolls that required by pure page or column scrolling.

So the problematic scrolling is not vertical or horizontal, but inline scrolling. Inline scrolling is bad vertically or horizontally. It is just a barrier to reading.

Best, Wayne

On Fri, Mar 29, 2019 at 10:42 AM Garry Grant <garry@seoinc.com<mailto:garry@seoinc.com>> wrote:

I received this back from a blind user that is a bit above the average regarding technical aptitude. Here is the input he gave me. It's unedited, but it's directly from a daily user. If you need anything further, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Sent from my iPhone

Hi, Mr. Grant, I received your email from Amber about scrolling on a mobile device. My personal preference is to have things laid out horizontally, and I use vertical scrolling on my iPhone to navigate different types of fields such as headings or links horizontal scrolling seems to work better from an accessibility standpoint. For me as a blind user but this does not always work well for other people one of the things about apps that drives me completely crazy is the fact that occasionally I have to flip pages using several fingers on my phone screen usually this is not always evident with the app.

A good example of this would be search results under Amazons app on the iPhone when you use VoiceOver to get to the next page you have to swipe up or down with three fingers to make the page scroll. From my perspective, most blind people keep swiping left or right with one finger to get to the next item. If it were me on a visual level, my phone usually wraps around from the first line to the second line as I keep swiping from left to right with my finger. Please note that on some devices when you activate the accessibility functions the jesters that a normally sighted person would use are now different due to the commands that the accessible software needs to operate. I hope this helps if you have any further questions please please feel free to reply to this email

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From: Mike Elledge <melledge@yahoo.com<mailto:melledge@yahoo.com>>
Sent: Friday, March 29, 2019 6:16 AM
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org<mailto:w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>; Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk<mailto:redux@splintered.co.uk>>
Subject: Re: Vertical vs. horizontal scrolling on a mobile device

Thanks, Patrick!


On Thursday, March 28, 2019, 5:48:26 PM EDT, Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk<mailto:redux@splintered.co.uk>> wrote:

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, <https://github.com/w3c/wcag/issues/668,%20> 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.

Patrick H. Lauke

www.splintered.co.uk<http://www.splintered.co.uk> | https://github.com/patrickhlauke

http://flickr.com/photos/redux/ <http://flickr.com/photos/redux/%20> | http://redux.deviantart.com

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Received on Saturday, 30 March 2019 00:16:06 UTC

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