Thursday, December 28, 2006

Unfolding the Fold

So people do scroll to the bottom of a webpage ...

"Web designers and usability professionals have debated the topic of web page scrolling since 1994. At the early days of the web, most users were unfamiliar with the concept of scrolling and it was not a natural thing for them to do. As a result, web designers would design web pages so that all the important content would be “Above the fold” or even worse, squeeze the entire page into the initial screen area. This practice of “squeezing” continues even today.

Nowadays, scrolling has become a natural practice in surfing the web. Scrolling is also associated with web 2.0 design because big, clear text and “spacious”, “clean” content implies longer web pages.

In this post, we will demonstrate with charts and real data several behavioral patterns related to scrolling. Let’s start!

The Data
As always, this research is based on data that we collect with our service (ClickTale). We used a subset of about 120,000 page-views dated November 2006 to December 2006. In this research we will be analyzing only vertical scrolling behavior. The service records the height of the web pages, the height of the window and the bottom-most location the user scrolled to.

Global Statistics
• 91% of the page-views had a scroll-bar.
• 76% of the page-views with a scroll-bar, were scrolled to some extent.
• 22% of the page-views with a scroll-bar, were scrolled all the way to the bottom.

These statistics demonstrate that the vast majority of web designers are designing pages with scrolling, that the majority of users do scroll and that a significant portion of them scroll all the way to the page bottom. While 22% may seem low at first, it is actually quite high as many page-views are repeat views where the visitors have previously scrolled all the way to the page bottom and are already familiar with the page. In addition, visitors often find what they are looking for near the beginning of the page and may not bother scrolling further down."    (Continued via Clicktale)    [Usability Resources]

Scroll Research - Usability, User Interface Design

Scroll Research

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