Darren Azzopardi SEO & Usability Lover

Keep scrolling, scrolling, scrolling

when a websites content is longer then the viewpoint, you then need to scroll

'#34;Users don't like to scroll'#34; is what I hear alot and this couldn't be further from the truth (troot, as my pops would say). Users don't like to feel lost, is what they should be saying because half the time scrolling is inevitable so making the experience that much better is key.

A Real life example of scrolling

It's tradition that when the Azzopardi's (referring to my family only) that when we're on the motorway that we get lost, we have to, it's a law enforced by the Road God '#8216;Tarmacius'#8217;. So when I'm driving and the sat nav tells me to take a left and soon after up pops a left exit off the motorway, I'm at ease because as I'm going forward I feel in control. The further I drive the better I feel because the sat nav and I are in sync.

What scares or frustrates me is when it tells me to take the 4th exit off the roundabout and there's only 3! Making the further I go less intolerable because I know I'm lost and heading in the wrong direction. I'm losing control and I can't find my bearings, '#8220;Turn right, Turn right'#8221; says the sat nav!

This is why I hate travelling and this feeling is equivalent to the users saying they don't like to scroll, it's not the act of scrolling or driving long distances is the feeling of not being in control.

The cause of scrolling

I sound stupid here because I'm saying the obvious, but scrolling occurs when the content you're viewing is longer than the height of the devices viewpoint (screen).

A sketch outlining a devices screen and the content being too long all be viewed

Your device wants you to see everything

Depending on what you're viewing if it's a really long article then to reduce the need to scroll or the amount to scroll, it would be ideal to break the article into parts letting the user read part 2 on the next page by pressing a link/anchor/button. I personally don't like this because I'm rather impatient and can't be bothered with having to load a new page but that's just one solution.

Empower the user with each scroll

When users scroll they want to feel they're heading in the right direction. With each scroll they are treated with nuggets of information letting them know where they are and they're in control.

Good design can help reduce the need to scroll but it's ridiculous to think people don't like to scroll. They don't like to get lost or lose focus, which impacts the users attitude of not wanting to scroll.

Scrolling is here to stay

I have yet to visit a website where the need to scroll either up and down or left and right has been removed and has been replaced by some far out new HTML 5 voice recognition tag.

My site being viewed on a Nintendo DS, clearly showing scrolling is needed to view my content

As expected, I'll have to scroll

Scrolling will be with us for a while because as designers we can't determine what our sites will be viewed on (just out of curiosity i looked at my site on my daughters Nintendo 3DS).

When our content becomes longer, your browser is kind enough to offer a solution of letting you view it still by giving you the almighty power to scroll.

Scrolling isn't a problem, it doesn't piss people off or turn people away. Not finding what they're looking for as they're scrolling is what pisses them off. As long as with each scroll the user is reassured, their needs are being met they will be fine.


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