Do people scroll below the fold on websites?

October 16, 2009


But! Studies are showing that even with better scrolling tools on mice and laptops, bigger screens and more sites that scroll, there is a science behind encouraging users to scroll. Here are some quick things that make scrolling more likely in web site design:

1. Setup the site to scroll with the browser’s scroll bar. When people see a big grey space below the scroll bar’s handle, it helps them understand there is more content. If you use an in-page secondary scroll bar, you get yourself in trouble.

2. Hint at content below the fold. Put titles and other information strategically right above the fold or cut off by it to give visitors another visual cue.

3. Less content above the fold. Great sites are clean and use whitespace well; don’t try to cram everything in at the top.I f you put less there, people actually tend to think there is more down below for them to find.

4. Avoid strong horizontals near the fold. If you have a tall colored line around where a visitor’s fold might be, then it could cue them to believe it is a footer or page ending element.

There you go. Studies show people do scroll. Having content below the fold, depending on the content, can be very beneficial. Now, there is moderation in everything. The site still has to be designed right with the most important elements above the fold, but don’t be afraid to put more on the page when it’s needed (especially for search engine value!)

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