In the mid-nineties, scrolling was a fairly new technology however now it is completely natural for a user to scroll and explore all content on the site - the more they scroll the more they will find out about your organisation right?
The advantages to scrolling amongst many include both showing short snippets of information enticing users to read more as well as, enabling them to digest information. Before scrolling was standard practice, and even now in some cases, people felt the need to fill the top part of the screen ‘above the fold’ with masses of information (this doesn’t exist, we’re not reading a newspaper remember)’. This not only confuses the user as they cannot determine which part of the site they should be looking at, it can also cause information overload, resulting in users navigating away from the site.
Which also brings me to a point that we always reiterate to our clients - make sure you think mobile first.
An average of 2 hours 51 minutes is spent online by users in the UK each day (45% of which is spent on a desktop computer or laptop, 40% smartphone and 15% tablet). Yes, you heard it right, handheld devices have now overtaken desktop as the most popular device to use on a daily basis.
How often after a hard days work do you go home, fire up your desktop computer and browse the web, book a holiday or order your shopping?
The answer is probably rarely. Although you’ll do these things the majority of the time, it tends to be on your mobile or tablet. Following ‘mobilegeddon’ back in April this year, Google expanded mobile friendliness as a ranking signal affecting mobile searches in all languages therefore if your website is not responsive, it may not be performing as well as you would hope in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
On that note if your site isn’t responsive I know a great digital agency that can help… Please excuse my tangent this isn’t a sales pitch. *cough* get in touch.
At our famous discovery sessions, we encourage our clients to prioritise their content based on the idea of having one column of information on the site. This not only encourages them to create a hierarchy for their information, but more importantly, to think of the information most relevant to the user.
Think about it like this, if you put too much important information at the top of your site what more does a user have left to discover? Why should they continue to use your website?
Naturally, everyone wants to promote their best offers in the top half of their site, but creating rich content throughout can prevent users from navigating away from your site. Providing your content is relevant, interesting and engaging, users will absorb the information and will be more likely to return.
The purpose of a responsive site is to serve the same information to a user across all devices. The introduction of responsive sites has greatly benefited the way businesses should approach site design. If you can prioritise information on mobile you should follow the same priority for desktop devices. Just because you have more space available doesn’t mean you HAVE to fill it.
It’s important to focus on the most up to date standards and best practice - so let’s think about it. The internet was created in the 1980's and has changed drastically since then (understandably so). New technology is being created and used everyday so it’s vital to keep up to date with current trends and web design styles. With the ever-changing tech world, non-scrolling sites are becoming a thing of the past but responsive websites are well and truly here to stay.
We aim to keep you updated with all the latest in web design but in the meantime, if you have any questions or need our helping developing a responsive site, get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org.