Last updated on October 17, 2018
When we scroll through a textual document on a computer system the body of the text quickly accelerates into an illegible blur, with headings not far behind in loosing their legibility and thus utility.
I am a gamer, particularly interested in the Battlefield franchise, which is not only spectacular to look at but also has a very well developed sense of movement and weapon and equipment manipulation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZW4cPUIVf4
I have experimented with gestures for a while, including gestures to pinch documents (using your trackpad or your iPad) to collapse/compress the document so that body text disappears and you have a table of contents/outline instantly.
However, what about changing the view based on whether you are still or scrolling, giving a smooth operation into something quite different, like a modern computer game might accomplish? The point here is to ask WHY the user is scrolling, not to simply copy the analog scroll from Egyptian times.
The user is scrolling because she wants to look at another part of the document, which is why Doug Engelbart called this navigation rather than simple scrolling (I expect). So there idea here, which I feel we should put resources into investigating, would be to change the document on scrolling, to maybe move the headings closer and make the body smaller and more grey, apart from any names (or other custom requirement such as instantly replacing company names with logos on scrolling) so that the user flips into a navigation/overview mode when scrolling, not simply shuffling a paper replica.
To find out of this is indeed useful or just a fancy demo would require a very flexible and capable graphics system to experiment on. I think this is crucial work.
I want this guy to have the best reading and authoring experience when he grow up (sidetone, this picture was taken on a smartphone (iPhone XS Max) and I therefore think our text environments have a lot more power to offer. Let’s explore…):