Adding Custom Scrollbar to SUSI AI Web Chat

Scrollbar represents the depth of content on your current screen. It appears when the content has overflown the depth of screen and cannot fit it anymore. We see scrollbars everywhere. By default, the scrollbar provided by the browser is not very attractive but efficient in doing its job.

We decided that as our SUSI.AI Web App is improving in both UI and functionality, let’s add a custom scrollbar to it.

Earlier we had a standard  scrollbar in our SUSI.AI webchat:

For adding a custom scrollbar to our web chat we decided to use react-custom-scrollbars npm-package.

Our reasons to choose this package were:

  • Auto Hide feature in the scrollbar, after a specific period of time, which we can modify too.
  • No requirement for extra CSS styles to style our scrollbar.
  • It is well tested and trusted by many developers in open source

To install this npm package:

npm install -S react-custom-scrollbars 

Now comes the usage part, we need to import this into our JavaScript file:

 import { Scrollbars } from 'react-custom-scrollbars';

After importing, wrap it around the data where you want to show a custom scrollbar. In our case it was messageListItems, the code snippet looked like:

<Scrollbars>
 {messageListItems}
</Scrollbars>

This made our scrollbar look much better than the default one:

Now to add Auto Hide functionality to our scrollbar we need to add some attributes to our <Scrollbars>  tag.

    1. autoHide: It allows the auto-hide feature to our scrollbar.
    2. autoHideTimeout: It allows us to set custom time of hiding delay of a scrollbar in milli-seconds.
    3. autoHideDuration: it allows us to set the duration of hiding animation in milliseconds.

After adding the above-mentioned attributes our code changes to:

<Scrollbars
 autoHide
 autoHideTimeout={1000}
 autoHideDuration={200}>
 {messageListItems}
</Scrollbars>

Resources:

A lot more of custom attributes can be found in the documentation of Malte Wessel here.

Testing Link:

Now we had a much better scrollbar for our web chat which can be tested here.