Scrolling websites

By: Jamie Fitzgibbons, CRS Web Designs

I think a lot of people would be very surprised how often they use their mouse wheel.  Next time you are navigating through the web pay attention to this feature that often flies below the radar.  We have become so automated to use the mouse wheel in a website we hardly know we are doing it.  It is an under appreciated button in my humble opinion.  Oh, I went there.

In the last few years, web designers began to notice how important this feature actually is.  This focus on the mouse wheel and scrolling changed the ease of the navigation in web design and also changed the flow of a website.  By “flow” I mean how the website reacts as you use the mouse wheel within a website.  This scrolling effect creates a fluid presentation of a web design rather than the old school way of multiple clicks.  However important you think your local business is, people don’t read a lot of content on web sites.  I see the stats.  I know.  Rather, they like to get an overall feel first and then choose specifics topics of interest.  A long winded mouse wheeling down the page will give the user an overall idea of the website and the company.   It is always give the user options to “read more” or a navigation bar that remains on the top of the page as it scrolls.  This gives way to my philosophy of “Less to More”.  Always present less first with the option for more.  This allows the user to choose “read more” buttons or any other cue to look deeper into a particular area of the web design rather than trying impress all things all at once.

I constantly see less is more in redesigns.  Businesses are giving up on huge amounts of written content in favor of simplistic design that conveys a message within a couple seconds.  Again, I see the stats.  This is called “Bounce rate” and it can be tracked using Google Analytics.  “Bounce Rate” is how long a user will stay on a page or even a website before clicking away.  A 3 second bounce rate is very common.  What does this mean?  Users read very little.  Rather, they pick up on overall concept first.  This is sold through good web design.  But what are we really selling to the potential customer?  I believe within those 3 seconds in a first impression you are selling professionalism.  I believe this is the psychology of a high bounce rates.  People will determine if you are legit within a few seconds.  Then they will look for the general message.  Then they will look for specifics.  It is a funnel shaped psychological navigation from broad to narrow.

Here is an is an example of scrolling websites in development this week from CRS Web Designs for Dan Kar In Woburn MA.

Revisiting my main point, a scrolling site keeps the user on the mouse wheel.  This keeps them on the website.  This allows the website to present the overall concepts without contributing to a high bounce rate.

Keep people on your site for over 3 seconds!  Keep your bottom line.