Re: An error in browser design

From: Simon McClenahan (
Date: Wed Feb 13 2002 - 11:46:30 MST

If the design is to view one "page" or window screen at a time, then the
options are:
- Resize the viewport (aka window) to fit the last window (aka "partial
page") of rendered text.
- Using a book metaphor, show "page" delimiters like horizontal lines to
delineate, like MSWord Normal Layout View
- Render pages with blank spaces to fit the viewport a la Adobe Acrobat
viewer or MSWord Page Layout View

If the design wants to reduce eye movement, then the text should scroll by.
The brain can track moving text much easier than discrete jumps.

If you, the human, want to reduce eye movement, then scroll one line at a
time instead of a whole page at a time. In fact, if you scroll fast enough,
you can actually increase your (sub-vocal) reading speed.

Other speed-reading techniques involve reading larger chunks of text like a
whole page at a time, so then you need to get a browser that scrolls instead
of refreshes. Most versions of Internet Explorer or Windows Explorer has a
smooth scrolling toggle somewhere. I don't know how to tweak the speed or
anything like that though.

In Windows, if you have a three-button mouse you can configure the driver to
enable both horizontal and vertical scrolling with variable speed. There's
also the mouse-wheel for vertical scrolling as well. For this issue, I think
it is the best solution if you are running Windows and have a three-button

The key to fast reading of screen-rendered text is in the scrolling. A
"page" at a time is far too much for our meager visual cortex to handle.
Other speed-reading techniques require more motor control, such as your
hands, applied to a more manageable 3-D object such as a book.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Jacques Du Pasquier" <>
To: <>
Sent: Sunday, February 10, 2002 5:43 AM
Subject: An error in browser design

> You read a web page. When you have finished reading a screenful, you
> hit "PageDown", and then resume reading at the top of the screen.
> But now you come to the penultimate screen and you hit "PageDown".
> Unless the remainder of the page is exactly one screen long, the top
> of the screen now shows text you have already read, and you have to scan
> the text to find where you were were reading before to hit "PageDown".

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