Is Scrolling The New Click- User Experience

Stephen McCance July 22, 2014

The question is frequently asked among web designers and enthusiasts whether scrolling or clicking is better for users. The answer to this question however is not a definitive one as it depends on a multitude of different factors to which option will provide the best user experience.

In regards to page flow, clicking offers content over a number of different pages, unlike scrolling that provides the content on a single page. The content should still however be split up and organized into separate segments to make the content as clear as possible.

In the past this question wouldn’t have been asked as the only option available was to use clicks for page flow. This was a result of the strong belief that users would not scroll to the bottom of pages, and therefore not view all of the content presented. More recently however it has become apparent that clicking for users seems to now be more of a chore than scrolling. It has also been noted that people scroll to the bottom of web pages more often, this however only holds true for content that is organized into relevant sections and is presented in an efficient manner on the page.

User Experience in regards to website use is the process by which customer satisfaction is improved through improving the usability, ease of use and the pleasure the user experiences by using the website. If the user experience is not very high then they are less likely to return to your website. In terms of user experience for clicking and scrolling there are both positive and negative elements to each. In order to provide the best possible user experience to your customers there are many important things to consider during the design process. Some of the factors to be considered are: the type of website you are designing, your potential target audience, and how the information is likely to look on the website. Taking all of these factors into consideration should help you to decipher whether scrolling or clicking will be the best option for your website.

One of the main advantages of scrolling is that it is far quicker than clicking, this is because all of the content is there for you to see and there is no time spent on the re-loading of new pages. Another great advantage over clicking is that scrolling is far better for use on touch screen smart phones and tablets. All of these factors all contribute to its advantage over clicking however the most important one seems to be that this method allows you to present your information to the user in an order that you want them to view it. – This can in turn be the key to driving conversions from your website.

Despite all of these advantages in favour of the method of scrolling; clicking in some instances can result in better usability in regards to web design. The greatest advantage from a web performance perspective is that clicks when used with analytical tools can be used to trace your customers’ flow through the website. A further advantage of having clicks in your design is that by using this method you create a number of pages all with their own link or URL. This will mean that these pages will be separately indexed on search engines, increasing the chances of your site being able to be found. On the other hand with pages that use the method of scrolling only the top level pages will be indexed.

How you choose to have your website designed will as mentioned ultimately depend on the type of website you are going for, the reason for its use and who you are aiming it at. It is almost impossible to give advice on the best method until these details are known as both methods have positives and negatives to them. To give a brief summary however, scrolling provides a better user experience specifically when mobile phones and tablets are concerned, whilst clicking is more compatible with search engines and for tracking in analytics. The most important point to take into consideration from all of this is that you must have a general idea of how you want your website to look, once this is known you should then be prepared to take advice from specialists who can help you to provide the best user experience as possible.

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