Apple introduced OS X Lion yesterday but already one major complaint has been lodged against the Mac upgrade: Scrolling. Lion revolutionizes scrolling, literally reversing it. Now when you move your fingers up the trackpad, you scroll up the page instead of down, and vice versa.
To be fair, we understand the change: Apple’s trying to capitalize on the popularity of touch gestures and must believe that natural instinct would have us move our hand upward when wanting to move information in that direction. Unfortunately, the scroll bar has become almost an extension of our hands and we’re preprogrammed to do the opposite of this. Anything else feels like trying to write left-handed when you’re a rightie.
Of course when you’re using a touch screen, this isn’t the case. You use Apple’s supposed “natural scrolling” system: Moving your hand up moves the content up. But we’d like to make an argument for the mouse. We know touch is here to stay and has thoroughly infiltrated the computing market. And while the keyboard isn’t going away anytime terribly soon, but its days are likely numbered. Numbered, but not over. Maybe the next generation that grows up with touch screens as their primary platform will take to natural scrolling more…well, naturally. But for those of us that have been part of the transition, this is just about as disorienting as it gets. Thankfully, you can defer back to what you know in your Preferences.
And pigeon-holing all Apple users into the all-touch world of iOS is frustrating in principle as well. There’s something to be said about product variety and appealing to a wide array of consumers based on differing preferences.
We get it Apple, you like to break conventions and make new ones. And usually, you get it right. This time, you missed your mark.