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Going Down? The Pros and Cons of Scrolling Website Design

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Going down? The Pros and Cons of Scrolling Website Design

Have you noticed the pages you visit as you surf the web getting loooooonger?

Many of the most compelling new websites are keeping visitors on one content-rich page, instead of leading them to load new page after new page to discover new content.

Scrolling websites guide users vertically down to uncover a company’s entire story without new page loads.

The popularity of this format is rooted in the growth of mobile devices and touch-screen navigation. Think about it: How easy and natural is it to brush your phone screen up to reveal a steady stream of new content below, rather than tapping an icon or menu button to load a new page?

The more we use our phones to access the web, the more trained we will be to scroll down vertically, and the more this type of site design will make sense.

This is particularly true because of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. These social media sites have popularized not just scrolling, but infinite scrolling, where new content is always waiting below, and each upstroke with your finger reveals more.

Going down? The pros and cons of scrolling website designWith scrolling becoming increasingly ingrained as a mobile user experience, it’s no surprise that desktop website designs are appropriating the technique.

But whether scrolling is right for your website depends on your site’s purpose and your business goals.

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Scroll down for my list of pros and cons to help you determine whether you will jump on the scrolling bandwagon.

PROS

  • Quicker access to information. No need to load a new page to discover new content.
  • Good company: Google images, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter all employ scrolling designs.
  • People increasingly access the internet on mobile devices, and scrolling was originally designed for touch-screens. So your website will be inherently mobile optimized.
  • It enables creative, new designs with a single long canvas to tell your story. The natural transition points would necessitate a new page on your site in traditional web designs. With a scrolling design, you can transition into new elements of your story with a variety of compelling features - like inspirational quotes, captivating images, animation, or strategic white space.

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CONS

  • Your navigation can get lost. As a user scrolls down, the top navigation menu on your site gets further and further away. This can be fixed by “sticky” navigation menus that follow users down the page, but those can be wonky.
  • Finding previously viewed content can be difficult. When each of your content subjects have their own page, it’s easy for users to revisit something they’ve already seen. If that content is part of a deep scroll, it is not always obvious where exactly that previously viewed portion of the page was.
  • Your page loading speed could suffer with a long page of rich content. A single page with multiple animations, graphics and/or videos will require a speedy internet connection that not all of your visitors may have.
  • Your search engine optimization could suffer. Each page on your website gives you an opportunity to alert search engines to what you are about so they can point relevant traffic your way. Loading your whole story onto one page - while it may create a unique and compelling design - limits your SEO opportunities.

Thoughtful consideration of these benefits and drawbacks will help you make the right decision about whether scrolling website design is the best choice for you.

Thanks for stopping by,

Laura

Breezy Hill Marketing is a Vermont web design and marketing company. We provide web design and social media marketing to clients in Vermont and throughout the United States. We love to develop custom, expert, digital marketing strategies for our clients!

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