Scrolling, Scrolling, Scrolling... rawhide!

17 Feb, 2005 | WebTdp

There has long been a web design suggestion that your site should not force people to scroll down too much, it’s been a rule since the early days, but I’m not sure it’s right, at least, not completely. To be fair the article that prompted this post does say most folks don’t like to scroll, rather than nobody likes to scroll. I do like to scroll, at least, I do in preference to clicking a link to another page which continues on from the current one. If I’m reading an article, clicking a link to the next page interrupts the flow of the article, a flow the author has taken time to create. I have a vague memory that the consensus on scrolling was three screens worth and, to be fair, that does give you some room. Personally, I’d go further. As long as the up and down scrollbar has a block I can easily grab with my mouse, the length is fine. Once it takes effort to grab the (i.e. you see sites, documents and applications where the scrollbar block is a millimetre high) block, then it’s too long. I’d much rather scroll than click a link and wait God only knows how long for the next page to load completely.

Changing tack entirely, I would agree about splash pages/flash intros, they are a personal bugbear of mine and I think this quote sums it up nicely:

Putting a "Skip Intro" button on the page. Of course, we all realize that a "Skip Intro" button signifies that the content on the page is worthless. Good Web designers only put content that must be viewed on a page. By giving them the option to skip this material, you're saying it's not worth seeing. If it isn't worth seeing, why do you have it on your site in the first place?