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26 Oct

Below the Fold

Four Ways to Keep Your Visitors Scrolling Below the Fold

By now, you''ve probably heard about the need to keep ads above the fold, or to keep the most important content pieces at the top of the page. In other words, web designers have tried to do all they can to keep users informed and engaged before the users have to scroll down.

Recent studies have shown that this strategy is more relevant to print (which is where the phrase ''below the fold'' originated) than it is to digital content.
In fact, according to an article in Fast Company, "between 91% and 92% of users scrolled immediately. .. for the vast majority of people [scrolling] is an almost reflexive action..."

It''s highly likely users will scroll below the fold, but if you want them to enjoy their scrolling experience here are four design elements, from the simplest to the more complex, that will keep users on your website.

Accordion Menus
As more and more site visitors access webpages via mobile, tried and true desktop designs have fallen short. One way to keep content uniform across platforms without detracting from user experience is to change mobile layouts.

Chunking information into sections has always been used for desktop sites, but accordion menus take this one step farther. Instead of chunking information in paragraphs that might require information from previous paragraphs, accordion menus keep chunks of self-contained information under easy to navigate sub-heads. This "table of contents" easily allows users to get where they want to go.

Fortunately, accordion menus also work for desktop sites, so this type of design will work across platforms.

Tabs are similar to accordion menus. Information is self-contained and the user is able to get information they need when they need it. Choosing between accordion scrolls and tabs is fairly subjective. Go with what seems most intuitive to your site.

Minimalist cues, like arrows, encourage a user to scroll down. Other visually engaging animations include roads, vines or ribbon that continuously scrolls down as the user scrolls.
Animation can be quirky or serious, depending on the site''s purpose.

Parallax Scrolling
Parallax scrolling is a web designers'' new toy. In this long-scrolling design, the background moves slowly with the user as the user scrolls down, creating a highly engaging 3D effect.

To find out more about scrolling and design options, please contact us.

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