New rules for scrolling in web design
Scrolling again turns into the main element of interaction. This means that designers should learn new rules for its use.
Why scrolling is reborn
Since mobile users have become more than desktop users, designers have begun to adapt. Since scrolling is becoming more and more popular: the smaller the screen, the longer the scrolling.
But there are other factors. High-speed Internet has become available everywhere, which makes scrolling the fastest way to get information compared to the transition between pages.
The growing popularity of social networks also contributes to the development of this approach: the scrolling naturally meets the needs of the audience.
A long scroll developed along with a card design. In combination, they provide users with an endless stream of content.
In addition, the “first fold” doctrine is now recognized as a myth. According to the results of specially conducted research, users do not mind scrolling. The practice of capturing everything that is higher than the first fold, is inferior to the approach of content distribution by scrolling.
But if you use scrolling as a canvas to display the beginning, middle and end of the page (using graphics, animation, icons, etc.), this provides additional opportunities to attract the attention of users.
Now some hybrid models are becoming the latest trend of web design. For example, scrolling fixed in place creates the same interactive interface as traditional long scrolling. But without stretching the web page vertically.
Scrolling is suitable for everyone?
By stimulating element changes, it can become a storytelling method that encourages user interaction.
Long scrolling is faster than regular navigation. It does not slow down or limit user interaction.
Ease of use scrolling helps to increase the time spent by the user on the site. This is especially true for endlessly scrolling sites.
Designing pages for devices with different screen sizes can be difficult. But scrolling helps simplify this.
Gesture control – scrolling seems organically related to touch controls. Scrolling down is easier than clicking on different areas of the screen again.
Disadvantages of scrolling:
The presence of only one page on the site can adversely affect the SEO-site promotion.
Inconsistency between scrolling and content can confuse users.
Difficulties of navigation – it is inconvenient to “return” to the previous content posted on the web page. To fix this, you can create a static top navigation menu in which each element is tied to a section of the page.
On sites with infinite scrolling, it is recommended to use the minimum “sticky” footer, so as not to sacrifice the navigation functions. The lack of additional navigation elements at the bottom of the page can confuse users.
Long scrolling is most suitable for sites:
mobile traffic oriented (most users);
with frequent updates and new content publishing (for example, a blog);
containing a lot of information presented in one format (infographics);
do not contain multimedia elements that increase the load time.
Social networking sites do a good job with long scrolling. Facebook and Twitter helped popularize this technique many years ago. But e-commerce sites that require consistent navigation are more likely to use a conservative page length.
As an example of something average, the Etsy website, a store of products created by users, can be cited. It uses a hybrid solution: several pages with an “endless” scrolling, ending with a call to action “Show me more”.
Do not use longer scrolls just because you have seen other sites follow this pattern. Make sure your resource meets the criteria we reviewed. Otherwise, performance may suffer.
Recommended Scroll Implementation Practices
Long scrolling, parallax effects and other fresh trends have already led to the development of several recommended practices.