Web Design Quick Tip: Remember That Your Visitors Know How to Scroll
Now that scrolling has become such a necessary part of using the web effectively, we thankfully receive fewer and fewer requests for web designs that "make it so visitors never have to scroll." Those requests came in on a monthly basis five or six years ago.
Back in the web's earlier days, web users hadn't quite caught on to the fact that web pages could extend beyond the immediately-visible area on their computer monitors (the so-called area "above the fold"). Not surprisingly, web designers often attempted to cram as much important information at the top of web pages as they possibly could.
Today, the vast majority of web users are savvy enough to know that web pages can, and typically do, extend below what they see immediately upon arrival. This increased savviness affects the manner in which effective website designs can be laid out.
(Further, a new era of web design, called response web design, is emerging. It's allowing designers to create flexible layouts that dynamically transform and display differently based on what resolution or device a viewer is using—sometimes very differently. Expect to see and hear much more about responsive web design in the upcoming year or two.)
Today's Key Takeaways
- Don't stress about trying to cram everything you want to say above the fold. Web users know that scrolling is a part of using the web.
- This being said, Do keep the most important information closer to the top of the page to help visitors confirm that they're in the right spot and that you have the information they're looking for. Just because visitors scroll doesn't mean they read everything you place on your pages!
- Don't be afraid to encourage visitors to scroll down the page for more.