Long scrolling pages are often able to engage visitors with a stimulating visual design, which most likely will lead to higher conversion rates over time.
Over the last year we’ve seen a clear website design trend toward long scrolling pages. These pages often tell a visually stimulating narrative about a product or company. Nest has some great examples of this. And these long scrolling pages are getting heavier with rich motion graphics and neat design techniques such as parallax effects, anchored navigation, and moving widgets (check out Mario Kart). These long pages empower marketers to tell compelling narratives in new way. That is, if the user scrolls.
This design trend wasn’t always the case. In the 2000s’ post bubble era, sites were trying very hard to not make visitors have to scroll. UX gurus such as Jacob Nielson were preaching that designers need to be very aware of where “the fold” is. In the age before page-tag tracking, user research groups were telling us that as few as 10 percent to 30 percent of the visitors to a long page would actually scroll to the bottom. This led the UX experts and designers to try and fit everything above the fold. Whatever valuable content couldn’t be placed above the fold was pushed to a different page. In those years, rather than asking users to scroll we would definitely encourage them to click deeper into the site. Log file analytics were used to track how many pages deep a user would click in a given session and the site optimization was focused on increasing the number of pageviews per session and page depth of a visit.
Why did we all go from trying to avoid asking our users to scroll to having scrolling as a fashionable design technique?
Read the full article by Mark on ClickZ here