If You Think People Don’t Scroll; Here Are Some Researches to Prove You Wrong!
Not much has changed in our observations since we released our original research on the subject. Basically, users have no trouble scrolling, as long as the page is designed to accommodate it.
Because of the design of this page, we’d expect to see users not scroll. It isn’t because users of the site have something against scrolling. It’s because the way the page falls in the window, it looks like the entire page loaded.
When all the sections end evenly on the page, users subconsciously decide there isn’t anything else to look for and don’t try to scroll. Of course, if they don’t scroll, they miss important content.
People do scroll, but put the most important content above the fold. Users know how to scroll below the fold, but they don’t spend nearly as much time there as they do above the fold. Make sure that the above-the-fold area contains your value proposition, but don’t try to squeeze everything in there.
Scrolling still provides better usability than slicing up lengthy content into several pages.
If our clients are finding their users aren’t scrolling, we suggest they look for a reason beyond “Users don’t expect to scroll” and see if maybe the design of the page is preventing it. By going for that Cut-off look, they might find their users are suddenly happy to scroll.
Researches & Evidences to show you that people scroll.
- Chartbeat, a data analytics provider, analysed data from 2 billion visits and found that “66% of attention on a normal media page is spent below the fold.
- Heatmap service provider ClickTale analyzed almost 100.000 pageviews. The result: people used the scrollbar on 76% of the pages, with 22% being scrolled all the way to the bottom regardless of the length of the page. That said, it’s clear that page top is still your most valuable screen estate.
- The design agency Huge measured scrolling in a series of usability tests and found “that participants almost always scrolled, regardless of how they are cued to do so – and that’s liberating.”
- Usability expert Jakob Nielsen’s eye-tracking studies show that while attention is focused above the fold, people do scroll down, especially if the page is designed to encourage scrolling.
- On mobile, half of the users start scrolling within 10 seconds and 90% within 14 seconds.
- Upon reviewing the analytics data of TMZ.com, Milissa Tarquini found that the most clicked link on the homepage is at the very bottom. She also points out that polls and galleries at the bottom of AOL’s Money & Finance homepage get a lot of clicks in spite of their position.
- Another eye-tracking study conducted by CX Partners confirms that people do scroll if certain design guidelines are followed
- Usability studies by the Software Usability Research Laboratory show that users can read long, scrolling pages faster than paginated ones. Their studies confirm that people are accustomed to scrolling.
- Jared Spool’s usability tests from 1998 tell us that, even though people say they don’t like to scroll, they are willing to do so. Moreover, longer and scrollable pages even worked better for users.
In July 2011, Apple removed the scrollbar from Mac OS X (it’s the default setting, though users can put it back). This clearly shows that people are so familiar with scrolling that they don’t even need the visual clue for it.
So to create a greater web experience for users, all we need to do is:
1. Segment key Information With Bullet Points.
Bullet points will enable the user to quickly get all the information they want: benefits, ways you solve their problem, and key features of a product/service -- all in a short amount of time. This will make your propositions more attractive and enable your user to get all the information they need. Additionally, you do not have to go the traditional route with a simple circle.
With tons of cool icons out there, you can also get creative with your bullet and help the reader further with images that represent your point. Why do this? Because it forces you to isolate the most important points you're trying to make without getting caught up in terminology or specifics.
One great example of non-conventional bullets comes from One.org. On this page, they use icons as bullets to highlight their accomplishments in a way that is easy to read. Also, notice the white space surrounding the bullets that allow you to focus on each section.
2. Use images (wisely).
People across the Internet are getting smarter and faster at judging company websites before deciding if they want to browse the site further. When they first visit your site, they can easily pick out a generic stock photo they've already seen elsewhere or that resembles the non-personal style of stock photography. Using stock photography can decrease trust and also stand out as generic and non-unique. Unfortunately, these associations carry over to your business as well.
In a case study done by Spectrum, Inc. of Harrington Movers, a New Jersey and New York City moving company, they were able to increase conversion on a page by simply replacing a stock photo with an image of the actual team of movers. They got the same increase in conversion and confidence to the page by adding a picture of their actual moving truck versus the stock photo.
3. Keep your website pages consistent
Consistency means making everything match. Heading sizes, font choices, coloring, button styles, spacing, design elements, illustration styles, photo choices -- you name it. Everything should be themed to make your design coherent between pages and on the same page.
In order to provide your user with a beautiful experience as they navigate through your site, it is important that they know they are still in your website. Drastic design changes from one page to the other can lead your user to feel lost and confused and to lose trust in your site.
4. Use Hyperlink Differentiation
When you add a link to any page, you're saying you want the user to click there. Make sure links are easily identifiable by visual cues. Underlined text and differently colored text draws the attention of the reader and lets him or her know this is a link to be clicked on.
In a study done by Karyn Graves, she shows that the regular web user sees blue and underlined text as links and knows to click on them. Exploiting user expectations and what they already know about using the web is tantamount to success.
When it comes to hyperlink differentiation, you do not need to reinvent the wheel. Sticking to convention can be your best ally here. A simple way to test how effective your links are is to blur and remove the color from the design and see what stands out. When hyperlinking, also stop to think about the length of the hyperlink. The longer the link titles the more easy to identify they are.