Web design trends come and go based on the evolving demands and expectations of online users. Lately, one trend that was initially thought to be taboo is now gaining momentum, this trend being long scrolling sites. Back in 2015 we saw the rise and fall of long scrolling websites, which are now making a resurgence in 2017.
Ever since mobile devices surpassed desktops as the preferred choice for web browsing, it’s been in the web industry’s best interest to cater towards mobile-first web design. As they say, the smaller the screen, the longer the scroll. However, mobile users are now increasingly being exposed to continually scrolling web designs, be it due to responsive design, or social media sites and an infinitely scrolling news feed.
In terms of usability, a long page can be a preferred user experience for a mobile user. Rather than needing to click through a complex navigation path that slows down user experience, they can scroll through the same content without waiting for multiple page loads.
Of course, lots of scrolling means your content needs to be laid out well to prevent fatigue. Design wise, the benefits of a long scrolling website is how it can be utilised in effective storytelling. With content being laid out in sequential, linear flow, scrolling designs should direct users through blocks of content. This allows for an intuitive and manageable user experience which would otherwise be plagued with either the interruptions associated with multiple page loads, or aimless, rambling content.
One downside to consider however, is that longer pages can become sluggish on older devices. If your content is engaging enough, most people will not mind scrolling to find out more, but their devices may not withstand heavier pages as willingly. Content should be tailored to fit this particular web design technique, lest the website lose valuable customers whether through lack of engagement, or device incompatibility.
Like all web design trends, popularity and ubiquity tend to go hand in hand, but we urge our clients to be more thoughtful over blindly following the crowd. Focus on your website’s intent, your user’s goals, and understand the impact that the content and design should have on one another.
Unsure if your website is following the latest design best practices? Contact our friendly staff at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more!