What is it A suggestion for an addition to the scrollable list UI on the iPhone<
NOTE: This is an older self-initiated functional suggestion
Despite the fact that a small change to an existing user interface could increase the usability, the fact remains that once a user is used to a certain interface, she tends to prefer the (possibly faulty) interface over a new improved one. In the field of Human Computer Interaction this is known as the Baby Duck Syndrome.
However, I’d like to suggest an addition to the scrollable list UI on the iPhone.
While trying to find a certain contact (or an item) in a scrollable list, you might want to use the vertical alphabet display (on the right side of the screen) to quicken your search. When using the alphabet list, I personally miss a certain visual hint that informs me about the current letter I’m at. Of course you could see this on the horizontal bars which display the letters, but the bars and items/names are scrolling in the opposite direction of your finger. I would suggest a visual element that displays the current letter and scrolls along with your finger, like I’ve drawn in the image on the right (below). The visual I’ve drawn is just a sketch, it could be displayed in a variety of ways.