You may have noticed lately that website scrolling has become much longer – this is no coincidence!

Web design, in general, has been steering in this direction for years now, and the recent popularity of long scrolling is the decisive result of current functionality issues and user experience. We already use it on a daily basis via our social media platforms, whether we’re scrolling through images on Instagram or going through posts on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn!

Initially, long scrolling was very much frowned upon due to the fact that users before mobile were accustomed to print mediums such as newspapers, where the attention had to be on the front page’s top half fold. With the increased use of mobile devices however, this started to change.  Now, with high-speed internet available in more places than ever before, not to mention the upcoming appearance of the 5G network, alongside social media platforms setting the bar, scrolling fits perfectly. 

Telling the User a Story

Long-scrolling sites create a linear step-by-step experience that tells the user a story. The pattern of new and familiar features builds a rhythm that gets the user excited about “what will happen next”.

When done right, this can be an enticing experience, where the user is fully engaged with the content and does not leave the site. This also encourages website owners to step up their game content-wise, providing quality material for their audience.

Perfect for Mobile Devices

Since a lot of users interact with websites on their mobile devices much more nowadays, the long scroll makes navigation intuitive and fun. This practice also gives the user a sense of control and comfort, as they are able to stay on relevant information or keep scrolling if the information is not interesting to them, at their own pace and satisfaction.

Scrolling also keeps the user-focused and on topic instead of having them click around all the time, which causes a delay.  If the page takes too long to load, the risk of the user leaving is relatively high. This is highly unlikely with long-scrolling websites.

As mentioned above, the long scroll has benefits that a shorter, multi-page website does not. With the interactive storytelling, the user bounce rate decreases dramatically when engaging content is provided. This, in turn, results in the high immersion of your brand, business or service.

The Challenge of the Long Scroll

While it is part of the web design present and future, the long scroll practice comes with its challenges. For starters, creating content in order to attract and maintain the user’s interest can be difficult. Wrongly choosing & creating material can result in the audience getting bored & losing interest, leaving the site with a high bounce rate.

Additionally, the higher content percentage can also result in the site loading much slower if not created correctly & professionally. Slow site speed will result in poor user experience, therefore disengaging the user. Your users expect your web pages to load fast, and they won’t stick around if they don’t.

One of the most significant impediments to single page websites is keyword ranking. SEO relies heavily on keywords and any website page can most times, be only optimized for a single phrase. Single page websites are designed around a central topic or theme, so such single page websites can only target a single phrase.

The Solution

At Web Theoria, we use the advancement of technology to our advantage. While the long scroll is on the rise and has its challenges, we find ways to work around it. We have found that the best practice for long scrolling is for landing pages.

Furthermore, as SEO experts based in Cyprus, we acknowledge that the long scroll cannot be implemented to all websites for all businesses; therefore we have found a balance in this by practising the long scroll moderately by adding interactive images and design elements while maintaining the relevant content per page to maintain our high page rankings.

Conclusion

Long scrolling can create a completely immersive browsing experience. If users like the UI and find it intuitive, then they won’t really mind the length of the scroll.

While it does have its challenges, long scrolling practices is already a big part of contemporary web design & when used correctly, has numerous benefits. It is often the case a company will request to facelift their website and make some pages longer!

Get in touch with a professional digital agency today for your new & contemporary website creation.

Published on December 19, 2019