Should You Design For Scrolling or Clicking?

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When designing the user experience and overall design of your website, you will be repeatedly be questioned over how a user should access a particular piece of content. Generally speaking, the two most common applied methodologies to this question come in the form of link clicks and page scrolling. While clicking was often the dominant choice of designers in the past, scrolling has in recent times caught on.

The Click

 

Traditionally, websites used clicks as the main form of navigation for users. This created clearly segmented areas in a website, with little confusion for the user as to the type of content they would face on a page. Additionally, this reduced the risk of users missing out on content that might was placed below the fold. Consequently, a website could potentially have a large number of pages, each containing relatively little content, but sufficient to answer the user’s need on its page.

The Scroll

 

The invention of the smartphone and other smart technology devices changed the way users interacted with websites. A new culture of impatience where users want what they need now rather than a few seconds later has resulted in the diminished use of clicks. In fact, several consumer behaviour studies have shown that content that requires more than 2 clicks to reach, is often never seen by mobile users.

Additionally, scrolling has become second nature to mobile users. Often before a page finishes loading, users began to scroll down, scanning through the segments of a page. This has been particularly reinforced by the user interface of our many social media apps, which have trained users to continuously scroll down for more content.

The Need for Balance

 

In other studies, it has been found that when on mobile devices, users actually take less time to scroll to their desired content as opposed to clicking due to the load times experienced between the clicks. At this point, it may be tempting to conclude that scrolling should be used as the predominant user interaction on a website. However, scrolling is not without its own setbacks. Placing large amounts of content and design on fewer pages results in longer load times for these individual pages. Taking into context the culture of impatience, this naturally has led to higher bounce rates amongst users.

It is therefore recommended that designers define the purpose of a click and scroll for their website. While there are no concrete right or wrong answers, clicks do tend to signify a change in topic while scrolls between segments seem to suggest a relationship between them. As such, one school of design thought advocates that scrolling with clearly defined segments be complimented with clear call-to-actions that contain internal links for user clicks.

Getting Professional Expertise

 

Still unsure how to create a good balance between scrolls and clicks? Getting professional web design services can help to speed up the creation of your website. Website agencies provide expertise and knowledge of user behaviour that can help your business to create the best possible user experience on your website.