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colored scrollbar

Hi! I am writing a Delphi component which must look very good.

I would like to have a colored scrollbar - a scrollbar which looks like a normal scrollbar, but which the color should be different from the standard grey color.

Is there any (simple) way to do this using Windows API or Delphi?

Thank you!

Xtender
Sunday, July 13, 2003

You may try processing the WM_CTLCOLORSCROLLBAR message.

For example:

In the Windows Message Procedure of the window containing the scroll bar you would:

1. Create a Brush in the WM_CREATE message.

case WM_CREATE:
  hBrush = CreateSolidBrush(RGB(0xFF,0x00,0x00));
 
2. Destroy the brush in the WM_DESTROY message.

case WM_DESTROY:
  DeleteObject(hBrush);

3. Return a handle to the brush you created in Step 1 during the WM_CTLCOLORSCROLLBAR message.

case WM_CTLCOLORSCROLLBAR:
  return (LRESULT) hBrush;

Dave B.
Sunday, July 13, 2003

I'm curious why you have a perception that changing what users know as standard devices is considered "good". I cringe at IE's ability to change the color of its scroll bar. It's a terrible UI decision made by bored developers, being abused by sub-par web designers. Is that the class of people you want to associate with? People who change things for the sake of change?

What's more important to you? Using something cool, or having a usable app for your end users?

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Sunday, July 13, 2003

Having a cool app for my end-users. :-)

Xtender
Sunday, July 13, 2003

Noted: the difference between a "cool" app and a usable one.

Nate Silva
Sunday, July 13, 2003

Microsoft goes for "cool" over "usability" all the time.  Witness WindowsXP or the constantly changing button styles in Office.

asdf
Sunday, July 13, 2003

Having a "cool" app is equaly important as an usable one for all those non-IT types who doesn't know about Jakob Nielsen :)

Anon
Sunday, July 13, 2003

Well if the colour of the scrollbar follows that of the system theme then it will be whatever colour the user desires it to be and it will be consistent with all other apps.

I'd spend more time making sure that the content of your dialog or whatever is clear, straightforward and aids the user in whatever it is they're trying to do.

Simon Lucy
Sunday, July 13, 2003

Of course, sometimes a non-standard UI is appropriate. Consider the example of Winamp. In my opinion it pulls off its task admirably using an impressively small amount of desktop real estate.

You might be dealing with folks who respond to unintuitive but pretty UI design with "ooo"s and "ahhh"s. Guess it depends on corporate culture.

Somehow I don't think you'd get praised at any company that knows its ass from its elbows.

Warren Henning
Monday, July 14, 2003

I have spent a lot of time reading the web site of Jakob Nielsen.

It is, in my opinion, useless rubbish.

He does make a few interesting points, but the information I read did not significantly improve the way I design user interfaces.

Xtender
Monday, July 14, 2003

"Sometimes a non-standard UI is appropriate. Consider the example of Winamp."

You have conflicting standards... the Windows UI standard vs. the CD player UI standard. But usability still suffers because of the deviation from normal. You have to discover pieces of the UI that are non-intuitive.

"Microsoft goes for cool over usability all the time."

Microsoft has made some terrible usability decisions (tear off menu bars?). I don't hold them up as a model citizen in this regard, either. But also remember that some of that deviation is good, when they progress the standard to INCREASE usability. They are, after all, in the unique position of controlling the UI standards for the platform.

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Monday, July 14, 2003

You shouldn't say "colored".

You should say "African-American scrollbar"

Malcolm XI
Monday, July 14, 2003

"I have spent a lot of time reading the web site of Jakob Nielsen.

It is, in my opinion, useless rubbish.

He does make a few interesting points, but the information I read did not significantly improve the way I design user interfaces."

So do you think that is because his information is "useless rubbish", or because you are dense?
Or do you think that either is gross exageration, unlikely to be supported by facts?

It is important to improve the user's experience by providing useful information and powerful, convenient tools. What is considered useful, powerful, and convenient is a combination of human factors and the user's goals and responsibilities.
Presentation is much more subjectective and depends heavily on your target audience, stereotypes as well as individuals.

Just make sure the latter does not get in the way of the former.

Practical Geezer
Monday, July 14, 2003

I personally hate applications that decide on my color scheme.  Either follow my win settings or have skins.  If the later you better have a lot fo choices or you gonna get ditched fast.

tekumse
Tuesday, July 15, 2003

> "I have spent a lot of time reading the web site
> of Jakob Nielsen.

> It is, in my opinion, useless rubbish.

> He does make a few interesting points, but the
>  information I read did not significantly improve
> the way I design user interfaces."

> So do you think that is because his information
> is "useless rubbish", or because you are dense?

Well, that happens because the information on Jakob Nielsen's web site IS rubbish.

Most of the information is about issues that were already decided years ago by Microsoft, when they made Windows 95/98/etc.

A program that does not follow the Windows conventions is thought of (by the users) as being unfriendly / weird / quirky.

So, when developing a program, it's of no use to discuss those questions again.

Maybe from someone building a new user interface from scratch (ie. not based on the current GUIs like Windows) the information on that site is useful.

But for modern developers working on an already existing GUI ... thanks, but no thanks!

Xtender
Monday, July 28, 2003

There is always a fine line, or a give and take when deciding on use vs looks.

If we really didn't care about looks, we'd see all graphics on the internet vanish.

If you look on the GNU website for example, the site is COMPLETELY easy to navigate. They've chosen the ugly times new roman font.. no grpahics.. that website is COMPLETELY useable.

There is always a fine line..

I think that most websites and projects out there could get done faster if we didn't rely on the looks.. but then again, when do you draw the line?

Do people really need all these toys they have today (including apps).. I don't think so.  A lot of it is looks..

Even the REALLY practical people are into LOOKS some what. I mean look at all the crackers out there, who love text. They think text is great, because it's simple.. (just like say the GNU website). But why do these same people use TEXT ART all the time (in the NFO files and readmes)? if they are so practical... and they like text so much, and simplicity.. why go through the hassle of making graphics in text art?

It seems to be based on fads, silliness, etc.  If the guy wants to create a colored bar.. so be it.. at least it will help me learn the basics of writing a delphi component.. it can be useful for some other information, not just color fads.

And yes, I do agree that in general, those websites with the colored scroll bars are very impractical. I draw the line there.. I like the very SQUARE windows 98 style stuff, but not as bulky as 98 ships default. I do not like all this linux roundish buttons and windows xp buttons.. and all the fancy junk linux have on their systems seems to be a paradox if they are unix users (for example their task bars area always bigger than windows 98 ones, and the programs always have flashy graphics, like the alternative emulator to xterm).. but then again look at Mac OS X which is a type of unix too. 

I think the world is full of paradox. People have no idea what they are talking about or intending. People will bash others for looks, when they themselves are guilty of it.. every day. Don't tell me you'd really drive a dodge omni, even if it got better mileage than a good looking car.

Looks Matter
Tuesday, March 09, 2004

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