In the days of CD-Rom “multimedia” we often talked about the “thickness of the book” factor; how much was there to read, do, watch, etc.
When you pick up a physical copy of “War and Peace” you know you’re about to commit to an intimidating pile of reading. When you popped a copy of Myst into your CD-Rom you really couldn’t tell how long it would take you to enter, acclimate, reach catharsis, and get out of whatever experience the author had created for you… We came up with ways to telegraph “how much is here” and ” how much is left.
The scroll bar of a scrolling pane in an application or web site serves a similar function to the careful user who understands that its relative placement within its sliding axis is an indication of where you are, and it’s relative size compared to the dimension of the track it slides within is a relative indicator of the overall size of the content.
But, in iOS they made that affordance hidden except while your a scrolling, must frequently by swiping/flicking. The problem with this is tha then i’m reading a long treatise by Paul Bryon or Luke W I have no idea how long their well thought out diatribe will continue, whether I can finish before my train stop, if I need to save it off to Instapaper, or what without occasionally doing a mini-flick to activate the slider thumb…
And, thus my reading flow gets interrupted and a little bit harder.
And, now it’s my stop. gotta run.