Active Web Group’s website has a new look! Our homepage has adopted a design style that has been steadily increasing in popularity on the web: long page scrolling. Long scrolling websites feature tall sections of content that can fill up the entire height of your computer screen. We chose this look for our new website because we love how each section serves its own purpose and flows gracefully into the next.
The design team at AWG has created long scrolling websites for several clients as well. Clients with older websites that are undergoing a redesign are sometimes apprehensive when we propose a long scrolling website. Their primary concern is whether or not the user will know to scroll below the fold. Their uneasiness doesn’t surprise us, considering that their current website was built to comply with much older web standards. Luckily, we have research on our side to show our clients that there is no need to worry.
User Behavior and Screen Size: Then & Now
In the early 1990s, scrolling within a web browser used to be a rare behavior! Only 10% of users during that time would scroll to look for more content (Nielsen Norman Group). Older screen resolutions would limit web design too. Until 2004, 800×600 was the most common screen resolution used (W3Schools). There was simply not a lot of room to work with. Web designers would conform to these limitations by creating small websites with tiny font sizes and crammed content.
Today, scrolling is second nature. Usability research shows that without any cues, 91% of users will scroll to the bottom of a webpage. With cues such as arrows and progress bars, 100% of users will scroll (Huge). The average screen resolution has changed as well. As of 2009, 1920×1080 is now the most commonly sold computer monitor resolution (Skinflint). Improvement in scrolling & screen resolution over the years has allowed for web design to progress.
Why should my business have a long scrolling website?
The average user spends less than a minute viewing a webpage (Nielsen Norman Group), so make it count! Long scrolling websites tell a story about your business or product in a fast-paced, interactive way. Include engaging elements such as animations, color blocking and iconography to provide an impressive user experience. End with a powerful call to action in the footer (add to cart button, contact form) for strong conversions (KISSmetrics).
Furthermore, long scrolling websites are easy on the eye. Eye tracking studies show that web users are more likely to skim & scan web content versus reading it thoroughly (Nielsen Normal Group). This is why modern web design has embraced the use of whitespace. Whitespace helps guide the eye and breaks up content into easily digestible chunks.
Lastly, long scrolling websites are very mobile-friendly. Their single-column & full-width layouts are easy to scale down. Scrolling on touch devices comes naturally for mobile users, so they will feel right at home navigating long pages.
Change is Good!
Change can be hard to accept, especially when things have been done one way for so long. Web design is no exception! Trends in web design come and go, but we believe long page scrolling is here to stay.