Website scrolling: good or bad for brand image?
Take a look around and you’ll notice that thousands of websites – and more than likely a few within your own niche – are transitioning from standard websites to “pageless” or “scrolling” websites. Is this just a trend, or is it a permanent shift? And what does it mean for your marketing and branding efforts? Let’s take a look.
The Shift to Scrolling Websites
Scrolling sites are exactly what they sound like. As opposed to the tradition website setup of clicking on tabs to navigate to a particular page with dedicated content, pageless sites incorporate all of the content on a single page. Users are simply encouraged to scroll down to find what they’re looking for.
There are plenty of examples of effective scrolling sites – and we’ll look at a couple more in this article – but Apple’s iPhone 6 homepage is widely considered one of the best in recent years. With this example in mind, let’s continue to study this new trend by studying some of the pros and cons of scrolling site design.
The Pros of Scrolling Sites
With so many businesses migrating away from traditional web design and towards pageless design, there are obviously distinct advantages. Let’s take a look at some of the top benefits.
#1. Simple and Fluid
The first thing you’ll notice is that scrolling sites are simple and fluid. By removing page barriers, you can encourage a seamless transition from one idea to the next. In a day and age where internet users are looking for streamlined online interactions, scrolling sites offer a satisfying experience.
# 2. Accelerated Funnel
The second benefit of scrolling sites – at least from a business perspective – is that they accelerate the sales funnel. Take a look at this example. The flow of the page tells a story. Visitors are presented with the basic value proposition, shown examples, exposed to social proof, told the process, and then presented with a call-to-action. It all happens on a single page, which eliminates much of the risk associated with premature bounces.
#3. Aesthetically Pleasing
Finally, you can’t ignore the obvious. Scrolling sites are generally much more aesthetically pleasing than traditional sites. There’s a lot of design flexibility, especially when you combine scrolling with parallax features (such as in this example). For internet users who are no longer impressed with basic websites, this can be a good differentiating factor.
The Cons of Scrolling Sites
While there are plenty of advantages to scrolling sites, there are also some negatives commonly associated with this design strategy. Here are three of them:
#1. Requires Lots of Scrolling
Sometimes the quickest way for a user to find information is to click on a tab, navigate to the page, and then scan for the desired content. While you can still do this on a pageless website, it’s often more challenging. Large sites may require lots of scrolling, which can be frustrating for time-sensitive visitors.
#2. Longer Load Time
One of the biggest disadvantages of a scrolling site is that many require additional loading times – such as this website. While the website may be engaging and visually pleasing, any time you increase the page loading time, your risk increasing bounce rates. In fact, for every one second delay in page response, a website can experience a seven percent reduction in conversions.
#3. Sharing is More Challenging
Finally, scrolling sites are harder to share simply because it’s challenging for people to pinpoint information. With all content on a single URL, everyone lands on the same page, regardless of what they came looking for. This may be a slight nuisance, but it’s a disadvantage nonetheless.
Making Your Own Decision
As you can see, scrolling websites are certainly unique. Not only do they put a modern spin on web design, but they also come with distinct pros and cons. Carefully consider these before deciding on whether to use pageless design for your next project.