A Digital Experience Agency

CC Image courtesy of marc falardeau on Flickr

Users don’t scroll






























If the above statement is true, then what’re you doing here? How’d you find your way 1200px deep (give or take) into this post to read this sentence? Let me guess, you’ve got years of experience from just using Facebook. And not only do users (and you) scroll—they want to scroll. It’s true. And it’s a crucially important concept for your business.

Time to Stick a Fork in the Fold?

The notion of “the fold” was born in the newspaper industry, where selling issues depended on attention-grabbing headlines on the top half of the front page. And now, the term has been adopted to signify the content a user can see on his or her screen at initial load. But seriously, as a kid I delivered newspapers for years and now I read everything online. It’s time to abandon archaic mediums and ideas and move forward.

But for today’s multi-platform, mobile-hungry users, scrolling is not only acceptable, but the preferred way to interact with your content, regardless of the screen. Numerous studies have found that the vast majority of users scroll instinctively, without even being prompted to do so.

So at this point you’re probably thinking we’re passionate advocates for the infinite scroll. Not true. There’s still beauty to be found in concise content presented at the top of the page. In fact, that top content is hugely important. Why? Because it’s what makes users want to scroll. And once you’ve got them hooked, they’ll scroll for hours (Pinterest, anyone?)

Here at Redonk, we’ve long been fans of Flipboard—a beautiful mobile app that aggregates content from across the Web, based on user interests. Just this week, we’ve been geeking out over the introduction of Flipboard for the Web, which brings much of what we love about the app to the big screen. Go check it out—it’s a seamless and satisfying testament to the power of scrolling-based UX, and of the influence that mobile can have on desktop experiences.

Let me leave you with three simple reasons to embrace scrolling.

  1. It frees us up to be true digital storytellers, using space and design in ways that entice and intrigue users.
  2. It moves us toward a user-first design philosophy, where brands deliver content the way users want to consume it. (More thoughts on our user-first philosophy in a future post.)
  3. It keeps our users engaged, free from repetitive clicks and page loads.

When it comes to creating awesome user experiences, there’s no single right answer. But when you accept that scrolling is here to stay, it opens up all sorts of possibilities for your users—and for the bottom-line effectiveness of your digital properties.

What do you think? Tweet us @redonkmarketing #forkthefold