Scrollable elements on Mobile websites

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Impact: MINOR
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Why are inline scrollbars hard to use on mobile?

In page scrollbars are best to be avoided on mobile phones. A scrollable element is not a user friendly way to present information because it is hard to read the content easily.


Avoid inline scrollable areas on a mobile website (and ultimately on desktop as well) because:

  1. No visible scrollbar
  2. Hijacking page scroll

1) No visible scrollbar

Some browsers on mobile phones show no scrollbars. Only when you interact with an element you see a scrollbar.


Try to remove the scrolling elements if possible. An alternative is to give the user visual information that the element is scrollable.

A screenshot of a web page that has a horizontal scrollable element on the page. The browser does not show a horizontal scrollbar
The browser does not show any hint that the element can be scrolled

2) Hijacking page scroll

A scrollable element that is too large makes it hard to scroll the parent scrollable element. The problem often is that the page scroll is hijacked by the inner scroll area.


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