19th March 2019 sshepherd

I am not afraid of the big bad website scroll!

Back in the heady days of creating HTML websites, most clients including myself wanted a website page which unveiled its contents on one screen without the dreaded website scroll. People thought that not having to move anywhere on the page provided the user with an experience that was simple and engaging.

After many years of making websites too simple about 5 or so years ago, people realised that you are not engaging people enough with that single page of content at the front end of your website. Come to think of it you may be cutting off your potential customer by not providing enough lead into your website with further details on your home page without an element of website scroll.

The book cover analogy

Let’s think of this as a book cover and how is the cover going to sell the story within.

We all know the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” so why do we? Most websites are bounced before the user realises its full potential behind the clicks with an unscrolling single screen.

The home page of your website is your book cover, now imagine that you place all the information to hook your clients on the front cover. This is not going to be a great idea just think about having the title, author, headline, eye-catching imagery, testimonials and enticing blurb all on the front page. Firstly this is information overload and to me and this will turn me off immediately to progressing any further.

So we need to use something called “Progressive Exposure”, It works by creating the front cover to urge you to turn over the book to read the back cover and then creating hooks on the back cover to make you want to read the contents. This is a simple methodology which can be used within your website to provide users with a comfortable experience when browsing your site.

How to use “Progressive Exposure”

We often practice the art of the slow reveal when it comes to the website scroll which can be paired with the fast access of top-level info.

Set out a layout which gradually shows your offerings but also allows for users who want quicker access to click through. Think of your website as a tour so people can stay on your front page with plenty of opportunities to contact you but also they are able to access the information they want.

So how could this look in practice? Firstly start with large shouting areas to let people know what you are about. Now make people aware of the nuances of your business or organisation with structured features to show off your capabilities. Next, you can offer proof of what you do with portfolios, galleries and case studies to whet the appetite of your users. Final areas for your website scroll can be testimonials to show people love your work and then maybe show your thoughts and new with a link to your blog.

This should give the user a great experience and all from your front page which gives them the opportunity to dig further with a click.

The mobile website scroll

Today’s website access is predominantly mobile with tablets, mobiles and touch screen devices. Website scroll for most of these devices is achieved simply with the flick of a finger or thumb and with social media apps providing an almost infinite scroll it is now second nature.

This means that the website scroll on these devices is now is simply accepted and part for some just muscle memory. Even laptops such as MacBooks adopt a touchpad which allows you to scroll with a 2 finger swipe up or down.

So, on the whole, we have come a long way since avoiding the dreaded website scroll to a point where it is generally accepted and prefered to navigate a modern website.

A Whole User Interface based on Scroll

This website uses a website scroll in a fascinating way to tell an amazing story – Where is Poland

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