A User Experience Question
Just a few years ago UX experts cautioned against website layouts or designs that made visitor scroll. There was this concept of “Above the Fold” which is a holdover from newsprint days. In this post, we’ll explore what’s real and not in an era where your audience interacts on the small(er) and big screen (desktop).
Back in the day, user experience (UX) designers disliked the idea of making your audience scroll to consume content. This was a common theme in the early 2000s, and indeed, up until a few years ago. Imagine a world where websites weren’t mobile friendly (adaptive and responsive themes were introduced about 9 years ago). Navigating on a small screen was nearly impossible. Now that mobile responsive websites are standard (or they should be), users don’t freak out if they have to scroll down a page. The world changed. We’re now measuring success across multiple screens. And our web designs need to keep pace with user expectations.
Why Scrolling Is Good
There are actually many reasons why scrolling is an indication of a positive user experience.
- Your content is more in-depth. Thin content gets the evil eye from Google. Pages or posts that are substantial and answer questions are good.
- It’s an indication that your audience is engaged. Just be sure to use headlines, bullets, and images to your advantage. Make sure those attention-grabbing subheads are above the fold so your reader is enticed to scroll. Again, infinite scrolling is not recommended.
- Provides more internal linking opportunities to other fabulous content on your website.
Let’s Be Realistic Folks
A home page that looks like a squeeze page is annoying. Plus, statistically, the lion share of eyeballs will be at the top of the page. ClickTale — a software that tracks how users interact with a website — analyzed ~100,000 pageviews. They found that people used the scroll bar on 76% of pages. Yet only 22% scrolled to the bottom. The lesson? The top of the page is still prime real estate.
Unless you have special tracking software like ClickTale, you can’t really measure scrolling behavior on your website. Google Analytics requires a click to register a pageview. As an alternative, you can view time on page as an indication of interest.
However, while we’re saying that users scroll, you still need to catch the users attention with something above the fold. They’re not going to scroll down if they don’t like what they see when the page opens. So make sure you’re teasing them with as much as you can above the fold.
So, what do you think about scrolling? Are you an advocate or averse?
How can we help?
Launching a website and need help with design? Or, are you tweaking your landing pages to improve sales conversion?
We are the Spectrum Group Online, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales.