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no way to quickly navigate through a long list

asked 2013-12-25 14:29:16 +0300

Venemo gravatar image

updated 2014-06-12 14:07:43 +0300

I didn't find an option to quickly navigate through a long list in either built-in apps: gallery, email, etc. This is lowers usability quite significantly in my opinion.

The People app has a handy way of filtering contacts by letters, but even that is quite a hassle when you have a lot of contacts whose name starts with the same letter.

Someone said: Saapunki includes a method to quickly scroll through a long list. I suggest we close this issue.

However, this feature request is about navigating through a long list, which is a lot more than just scrolling to top / bottom. Even though you can scroll to top and bottom now, you still can't navigate in your artists in the music app, for example.

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I edited the post a bit because I am before my second coffee today, and I felt offended by the wording. Now hopefully it is neutral enough to be free of emotions for any reader in most states of mind. :) #jollalove

Low ( 2013-12-25 14:34:17 +0300 )edit

@Low Sorry for the offence, but I really think this is serious!

Venemo ( 2013-12-25 14:37:49 +0300 )edit

This was very well done on N9 in gallery, contacts, messages, mail etc. with the "bar" on the right side of the screen that one could quickly scroll up and down.

Neo ( 2013-12-25 14:38:17 +0300 )edit

@Neo yes, I sometimes try to use the "bar" on the Jolla instinctively, but of course nothing happens :P

Venemo ( 2013-12-25 14:41:08 +0300 )edit

@Venemo no worries;) yes I second that +1, it is a royal pain. A sidebar list to jump like on the N900 or a dragable/tapable scrollbar would be a nice thing to have... and the existing people app thingy is also no solution if most of your 400 contacts start with "L".

Low ( 2013-12-25 14:42:51 +0300 )edit

10 Answers

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answered 2014-01-11 20:59:25 +0300

Dickson gravatar image

Just my guess, but I believe such component already exist, but Jolla disabled it for now. If you look through the source of SilicaListView, SilicaFlickable etc, it has a component commented:

Disable until works reliably (JB#6502)

QuickScrollArea {
    anchors.fill: parent
    flickable: flick
    margin: Theme.itemSizeSmall
    minimumVelocity: Screen.height
    enabled: quickScrollEnabled && flick.flickableDirection == Flickable.VerticalFlick

    onScrollToTop: FastScroll.scrollToTopGesture(flick)
    onScrollToBottom: FastScroll.scrollToBottomGesture(flick)

Based on the coding, it should be an item that appear when you scroll over the list very fast (minimumVelocity), then it offer a way to scroll to top or bottom (onScrollToTop/onScrollToBottom). QuickScrollArea is code in C++ not QML unfortunately so we can't view the source for it.

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that's a nice piece of info :) We may just wait for Jolla to enable it when it's stable, and see if the problem is well solved (I guess it will be)

Nichope ( 2014-01-13 13:11:07 +0300 )edit

This function is working very fine on my N9 ;-)

JonnJonz ( 2014-08-06 22:42:23 +0300 )edit

answered 2014-03-04 18:10:56 +0300

tokaru gravatar image

Not actually a replacement for the other suggestions in here, rather an addition but IMHO a huge user experience improvement when scrolling:

I'd love to have a scroll momentum behavior similar to lists in Android, i.e. when giving a long web page a scroll momentum and then do the same gesture again (while already scrolling), adding more momentum to the scroll and thus accelerating it. Currently the second gesture is more like decelerating the movement for a moment, just to accelerate again.

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answered 2014-06-09 23:30:49 +0300

ApB gravatar image

Reaching top and bottom is implemented but what if you want to reach a certain point (ie. letter M) in a long list?

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My point exactly.

Venemo ( 2014-06-12 14:08:45 +0300 )edit

answered 2013-12-25 22:57:14 +0300

There was another idea here for zooming which might work here: press and hold on the right (or config:left) side of the screen and you get scroll arrows. The speed you drag your finger up/down gets you up and down a list. Bonus feature here is you get that numbered/lettered navigation that helps you know when to slow your drag or stop.

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I think what you describe is too complex, copying the quickscroll feature from the N9 would be quite good on Sailfish too.

Venemo ( 2013-12-26 00:46:30 +0300 )edit

@Venemo I understand why you'd disagree, but you also under-estimate how incomplete scrolling is on the N9.

Per chance, place your finger on a list on your N9, scroll up or down. Notice how its just got one speed. I'm simply saying to add the physics which would let speed and space be managed. Easy

arjwright ( 2013-12-26 01:11:42 +0300 )edit

I don't want to press-and-hold for scrolling, nor do I want to use scroll arrows.

Venemo ( 2013-12-26 08:39:55 +0300 )edit

I personally like the idea of a fast-scroll through sidebar, especially if it would be possible to manage the speed yourself. Pressing and holding whilst slowly or not so slowly moving the finger up or down is not so difficult. Also I think it wouldn't really interfere with other gestures.

jjo.sch ( 2014-01-03 10:57:27 +0300 )edit

Mitaakuuluu app last update have a bit N9 style scrollbars. Only change fade out timing longer and add "top" and "end" spots. https://openrepos.net/content/coderus/mitakuuluu

aarengu ( 2014-01-10 19:01:41 +0300 )edit

answered 2014-08-03 13:33:06 +0300

r0kk3rz gravatar image

This answer is more for app developers.

If you want to use the People App style navigation for long lists (not perfect but significantly better than not breaking it up alphabetically) then I have broken the menu out of the People App into something easily integrable into another app.


It would be great if the Silica devs packaged it up and offered it by default in Silica, but until then this can suit.

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answered 2013-12-29 20:19:39 +0300

szafirowy01 gravatar image

updated 2013-12-29 20:20:31 +0300

Two ideas about long lists came to my mind:

  1. Like in new Xperias' Gallery (or Album, I don't remember) - resizeable icons of photos/videos/other elements of grid, using the same gestures as in zooming/unzooming things. You can make them smaller, so the list becomes shorter.

  2. Scroll bar like in Symbian/MeeGo - I don't know how it works in MeeGo, but in Symbian there are letters in the middle of the screen on lists of contacts, albums, music tracks etc. or dates in Gallery. This could be used everywhere where things are automatically sorted.

And, of course, making lists shorter by using folders for example. But this suggestions is rather for users, not Jolla itself.

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answered 2014-01-11 20:07:32 +0300

Nichope gravatar image

I thought about that some days ago, especially moved by the complaints of users who wanted to use the pulley menu while being in a long list without needing half a minute to scroll down/up the whole list.

A maybe good solution for that could be using double-finger gestures. At first I thought about something like that, but this doesn't help in the case where you just want to navigate through that long list. Instead of that, I see some possible solutions that would involve pulling up and down with two fingers, each one with its pros and cons:

  • A "flick" (a fast pull) with both fingers leading to a faster scrolling than with one finger; that way you would use two fingers when you are far from what you're trying to reach (the speed could depend on the speed of the flick gesture, multiplied by some factor), and when you are near to it you only use one finger and scroll in a slower, more precise way. That would be very natural and would integrate very well with the gesture-based nature of the OS. The main limitation that I see is if a list is REALLY huge, the user not scrolling fast enough or doing it so fast that he misses what he was trying to reach.

  • The second is my favourite one, though it's not so natural. When you pull the screen with two fingers, it would go down and up a fraction of the total list equal to the fraction of the physical screen travelled with the fingers (just like with a scroll bar, maybe inverted not to break the feeling of "pushing" the screen that one would get by doing it with one finger). That would allow scrolling huge distances fast and getting easily to the pulley menu. The bad thing is that, unless the user is really precise with the fingers, when used to reach a specific part of the list it would require further correction by scrolling with one finger.

  • The last method is "copying" a tool used in desktop pdf readers and web browsers where clicking the mouse wheel enables a function where if you move the mouse "up" or "down" the screen scrolls at a speed that depends on how far you have pushed the mouse. If that was activated by touching the screen with both fingers horizontally parallel and moving them up or down, it would allow travelling through the list either fast or precisely, depending on how far from the point where the fingers first touched the screen they have gone.

Maybe there are more and better ways to use two (or more, since the screen accepts up to 5) finger gestures. In any case, I think that it's something that could be seized and should be useful in cases like this one :) By the way, I was worried that using two fingers could interfere with the zooming function in browser and things like that, but since the screen is even able of handling 5 fingers at the same time, I guess that the associated software will easily be able to know if both fingers are moving in approximately the same direction or in opposite ones.

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Not a fan of double finger gestures personally. It means that the mobile needs two hands to be operable.. which while it might be something that we do, doesn't fit much of the one-handed UX that SailfishOS seems to be running towards.

arjwright ( 2014-01-12 17:58:56 +0300 )edit

I thought about the two hands thing too but, as it isn't a really essential function in order for the phone to work, that feature would not be limiting. I don't think the OS avoids those gestures on purpose, since zooming is done that way. Furthermore, in many videos from Jolla two hands are used.

Nichope ( 2014-01-13 13:47:10 +0300 )edit

answered 2015-08-04 14:47:09 +0300

jollcob gravatar image

updated 2015-08-06 00:58:21 +0300

In my opinion scrolling is still far from being a nice experience in long lists, webpages... The app SMPC has a very nice implementation, maybe this can be adapted.

It works more or less like a scroll bar every file/web browser uses on a PC. You go to the right edge of the screen and moving your fingertip results in scrolling through the list. Getting to the top or bottom of the screen means to get to the start/end of the list, of course you can stop anywhere in between. On top of this there is indexing, i.e. number or first character of an item is shown matching the current position in the list. image description It works fine for at least some hundred items. Its fast and precise enough.

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care to screenshot or at least describe how it works?

r0kk3rz ( 2015-08-04 15:29:47 +0300 )edit

Good idea, will do that when I get home later. Since I need to connect the app to my Volumio music system to have a list to scroll, I can't do that right now.

jollcob ( 2015-08-04 15:42:07 +0300 )edit

I also think that list-navigation is not optimal in Sailfish.Even more so in apps where you frequently have to scroll to the top to use the pulley menu.

Apps with long lists should not have a pulley menu on this screen, it just doesn't go well together.

SuAlfons ( 2015-08-06 10:13:41 +0300 )edit

You are right, that is pretty anoying. One could also define a pulley bar on the left side of the screen. From where one would be able to access the pulley menu no matter where you are on a list...

jollcob ( 2015-08-08 15:07:33 +0300 )edit

answered 2019-01-28 08:43:48 +0300

yiannako gravatar image

Any work on this in the latest update?

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Nope! Five years later you can still only quick scroll to the top or to the bottom, but not to anywhere else.

nthn ( 2019-01-29 00:50:07 +0300 )edit

answered 2014-06-10 08:24:15 +0300 Saapunki includes a method to quickly scroll through a long list. I suggest we close this issue.

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Yes it should be closed. :)

magullo ( 2014-06-10 08:25:14 +0300 )edit

No. This is not properly solved. You can only move to top and bottom.

ApB ( 2014-06-10 08:26:42 +0300 )edit

@ApB you are right, I was simply over optimistic, given the huge amount of fixes in 1.0.7. Browser still lacks quick scrolls, and some apps(together for example) has two scrolls now!

magullo ( 2014-06-10 08:31:34 +0300 )edit

Yes, circle ones look like home/end and middle arrows like page up/ down. Still, they behave identically.

sponka ( 2014-06-10 08:53:15 +0300 )edit

@ApB There is no reason to generalize everything: in this case it is possible to create one big issue called "Improve usability" and mind against closing it all the time :) Let's go step by step: currently lists provide ability to use kinetic scrolling and ability to move fast to the bottom/top as also you can add sections to your lists. So, if something is absent (e.g. scrolling in the browser), be specific and create appropriate task ;)

dez ( 2014-06-10 12:20:27 +0300 )edit
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Asked: 2013-12-25 14:29:16 +0300

Seen: 11,796 times

Last updated: Jan 28 '19