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Winding Down



Sliders are great.  When you adjust the volume on your machine, who wants to type in a volume number into an input box or select "low" "medium" or "high" from a drop list?  You just grab a handle and drag it along a range to set some variable.  How can you go wrong?

Often, though, we run into the need to have a graphical range slider for super large spans of data where the screen real estate is very limited.  The unplanned result would be a tiny slider that no matter how gingerly you nudge the handle, the data value jumps way too far.  Check out the graphic on the left; even if I move the handle one pixel, the data value would jump 10,000.  Bummer.


We needed some way to gently scoot the range handle up or down minutely if needed and the tuner wheel did the trick. It is an option for our linear sliders that is activated if the data range is greater than the allotted pixels.

Like an iPod’s scroll wheel, rolling the circle one way or the other increases or decreases the data value.  Think of the old war footage where artillery teams are cranking handles around and around to move the gun some number of degrees.  They were able to get a much more controlled, precise fix than if they just pushed the gun barrel one way or the other.

A nice feature of the radial motion, as opposed to a linear motion, is that you can theoretically scroll forever, and it gives the user the ability to span up and down massive data ranges.  The level of precision is customizable; just assign the change in rotation angle to some number value.  Also, the rate could be variable: scrolling a longer duration could increase the rate at which the data is spanned.

Visual Feedback

We try to give as much visual feedback to the users of these kinds of widgets as possible.  An important visual cue for a tool like this is an indication of the direction of the turn.  When cranking up, the + glows, when cranking down, the – glows.  The arrow heads reflect the direction of the turn and all the while the numeric value updates.  If the rate of change were variable depending on the duration of scrolling, then the + and – symbols could grow or shrink.

John Nelson / IDV Solutions / john.nelson@idvsolutions.com



6 responses

  1. Unknown

    thank you.

    HTML clipboard
    الجيش يحقق أول فوز له في الدوري على بترول أسيوط والاتحاد يهزم الترسانة 

    بعد تألقه اللافت للنظر مع ويغان تشيلسي وليفربول يطاردان البلدوزر زكي  –

    الإسماعيلي يصعد إلى صدارة الدوري المصري  –
    تعرضه ل مأزق كبير ، زعيم الثغر يعود و يفوز بهدفين علي الترسانة !  –

    بعثة الزمالك تتعرض لأزمة في مطار أبيدجان !  –
    بيرو روحي و BarcaEuro مراقبان علي الكرة المصرية و ب القلب يا مهند !  –

    خشبة: تأجيل إرسال بطاقة متعب لحين تحويل المقابل المادي  –

    عضاء النادى الاهلى يطلبون مناقشة حقوق الأهلى فى قضية البث فى الجمعية القانونية 
    – [ –
    متعب يسجل هدفا لاتحاد جدة في أول مباراة له مع الفريق – ]  –

    الزمالك تنتزع ثلاث نقاط من حسام حسن وتفوز بهدفين  –

    الأهلي يتراجع ويفقد النقطة الخامسة ( باي باي )  –
    جامد جدا الزمالك يركب الحنطور ويتحنظر  –

    مقارنة محمد ابو تريكه ورنالدنيهو ورونالدو  –

    فضيحة فى السودان برعاية أتحاد البيزنس : هزيمة أبطال أفريقيا برباعية تاريخية 

    تفاصيل النكسة من السودان (من هو أسوأ لاعب في المباراة ؟ )  –

    مصر تواجه السودان اليوم بالتشكيل الأساسي  –

    اعارة متعب لاتحاد جدة السعودى .. و اللاعب يجدد عقده مع الأهلى  –

    ارشيف للزكرى بين الاهلى المصرى والهلال السودان  –
    لابو تريكة :رزقني الله.. بأكثر مما حلمت به!  –

    مفاوضات سرية بين عماد متعب والاتحاد السعودي

    August 30, 2008 at 4:38 pm

  2. Unknown


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    October 13, 2008 at 4:37 am

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