Scrolling vs clicking: What’s your preference? As a UX specialist for a Vancouver based WordPress web design agency, I have an invested interest in the whole scrolling vs clicking debate. Like most things in web development, the effectiveness of a technique is entirely dependant on the methodology behind it.
I happen to enjoy the scrolling experience; Facebook and the onslaught of mobile devices have nurtured users desire to scroll. So why the resistance from some?
Once upon a time, people were drawn to news content based on the headline printed above a newspaper’s physical fold. In this respect, times haven’t changed. Headlines still sell. However, the practice eventually fostered an “above the fold” mentality, which suggests that content at the bottom of a page is less important than that at the top. This inverted pyramid strategy is the backbone of print journalism. In terms of how some people still approach their web content, this mindset is very much prevalent. Some clients get nervous seeing their assets drop below that imaginary fold.
The fold is not a real thing in today’s website design landscape. Paying for a product based on the fold is outdated thinking. Content that falls outside the edge of your computer’s screen not only still exists but is waiting to be seen. If your content is engaging, people will want to seek it out, and by scrolling, they will find it.
Here are three reasons why scrolling is good from a UX, web user experience, perspective.
1. You Don’t Have to Think About It
When it comes to accessing content and keeping users engaged, scrolling is the new norm. Scrolling is natural and the most efficient way of scanning for content of interest.
2. It’s Faster
A big part of the scrolling appeal is its convenience. Visitors can investigate more content in a shorter amount of time. Clicking has to rely on load times whenever a new page is selected. Clicking forces people to make a decision, resulting in a step away from previously accessible options. People are only willing to tap and click so many times before they opt to bounce away.
3. It’s the Content That Matters
Most users don’t care about scrolling or page length. What they care about is relevant content. Scrolling allows you to highlight your content in a fluid, directed motion.
Of course, there will always be a place for clicking. You need to provide that separation. As a Forge and Smith UX designer in Vancouver, Canada, part of my job is to aggregate relevant content in a combination of clicks and scrolls that tells the client’s story in the best possible manner.
To see some examples of my work visit our case studies.