For years now web design has been moving into the direction of creating long scrolling and single page websites. The reasons for that are several but they are all related to the changing nature of user behavior and tastes.
The mobile web
First of all, the mobile web has become extremely popular. And browsing a website through a smartphone and a desktop machine has one very significant difference – the screen size. On a smartphone you don’t have the necessary space to arrange the elements next to each other. So, you either get rid of some of them or you simply put them one below the other which makes the website long scrolling.
Moreover, as we use gesture controls on our smartphones it is easier to just scroll down than to click a link to go to another page. This is one of the reasons why many web designers that want to make a mobile-friendly website go for a single page website. Long scrolling sites are especially suitable for smaller screens, such as those of smart watches, as they give you more accuracy and ease of use. Just think of how tough it could be to click on a link on a 3-inch display. On the other hand, swiping with your finger is easy and funny.
The other big reason why some web designers choose to create long scrolling websites is that they are a perfect fit for the modern trend of storytelling. In the marketing world storytelling means creating an identity for your brand and products and telling the story about what they truly are. From a User Experience point of view long scrolling websites avoid some of the drawbacks of page-by-page navigation as they provide a smoother control over the content.
Example website: Reservation.Tools
When it’s good to make a website long scrolling?
It’s not always a good idea to make a long scrolling website. This type of web design is only suitable for certain categories of sites:
- Sites that target primary users of smartphones.
- Sites which content is better presented on one page as all the topics are similar.
- Sites with user-generated content (such as Facebook, Twitter and all other social networks, as general).
- Portfolios – long scrolling websites are good for portfolios as you can show everything about your professional career in an easy to navigate way.
Drawbacks of long scrolling websites
- Possible negative effect on SEO – Having just one page on your website instead of 10, for example, means fewer indexed pages.
- Navigation is harder – Going back to the previous peace of content could be harder.
- Site speed – if you have too much content on one page, your site could start loading slower.
The bottom line
In conclusion, long scrolling websites are a modern trend and it is a must for every good web designer to get familiar with it. Although not a good fit for every type of site, if done right, your long scrolling website could really stand out among competition.
In our opinion, more and more websites are going to become long scrolling in the next year. What is more, creating a long scrolling mobile website lets you keep all elements of your desktop site.
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