One of the most important website trends for 2017 is called mobile long scrolling, which is an emergent trend derived from increased content consumption on mobile as opposed to desktop. Long scrolling allows users to scroll on their mobile devices rather than click around for new content. According to Digiday, users consume 79% of their content on mobile, while the use of desktop has fallen by almost 16% in 2016.
It’s no longer necessary for websites to showcase their most important content “above the fold”. The use of smaller screens hinders how much information can fit above the fold, and long scrolling has swept in to replace this best practice for content consumption. That said, the flow of your content is key. Be concise with your messaging, and create a visual hierarchy that will help a user flow through content quickly. C.H Robinson, for example, uses eye-catching graphics to make its website aesthetically appealing — but what really grabs our attention is the user experience.
C.H Robinson complements their site with anchored tabs that can easily and more quickly bring you back or forward a few scrolls, and a sticky navigation that gives you access to the main menu no matter where you are on the site. An alternative to long scrolling is “Load More” pages, which allows the user to choose whether or not to increase the amount of content on their screen, making for a simple interface.
If you’re considering a site redesign and want to know if mobile long scrolling is right for your audience, consider the following:
How does your audience consume content?
Check your web analytics: what percentage of your audience consumes your content through mobile? If it’s a significant amount, you may want to consider a mobile site set up for long scrolling.
How do you want to tell your story?
A long scrolling site is more immersive than one with multiple pages. When you remove the requirement for users to click around your page, you’re able to create a flow that may be more conducive to your narrative.
C.H Robinson does a great job of capturing a snapshot of the company’s most current information. The flow of content is what tells the story — it starts with an overview of the company’s most recent financials, moves into their latest news & events, and ends in investor resources — in other words, the sequence that an investor would likely take to find out more about your company.
How often is your site updated with new content?
For IR websites, long scrolling showcases upcoming events or news items in more engaging ways, similar to how a blog organizes its posts. C.H Robinson clearly defines each section of their website with its own imagery and design, allowing the user to easily identify and access subpages for that content.
Mobile long scrolling is a great way to increase time spent on your site, especially if your web analytics are showing that most users consume your content on mobile.