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8:5 Scroll Fewer Screenfuls

Relative Importance:

Relative Importance rating of 2 out of 5

Strength of Evidence:

Strength of Evidence rating of 2 out of 5

Document Type: Guideline


Topic:

Scrolling and Paging


Guideline:

If users are looking for specific information, break up the information into smaller portions (shorter pages).


Comments:

For many Web sites, users deal best with smaller, well-organized pages of information rather than lengthy pages because scrolling can take a lot of time. Older users tend to scroll much more slowly than younger users. One study found that Internet users spend about thirteen percent of their time scrolling within pages. Even though each event takes little time, cumulative scrolling adds significant time.


Sources:

  • Detweiler, M.C. & Omanson, R.C. (1996). Ameritech Web Page User Interface Standards and Design Guidelines. Ameritech (now SBC).
  • Lynch, P.J. & Horton, S. (2002). Web Style Guide (2nd Edition). New Haven, CO: Yale University Press. Retrieved November 2005, from http://www.webstyleguide.com/index.html?/contents.html.
  • Nielsen, J. (1996a, May). Top ten mistakes in Web design. Retrieved November 2005, from http://www.useit.com/alertbox/9605.html.
  • Spool, J.M., Scanlon, T., Schroeder, W., Snyder, C., & DeAngelo, T. (1997). Web Site Usability: A Designer’s Guide. North Andover, MA: User Interface Engineering.
  • Spyridakis, J.H. (2000). Guidelines for authoring comprehensible web pages and evaluating their success. Technical Communication, 47(3), 359-382.

Poor Example:

The single-page design of this document requires users to scroll more than twenty-seven screenfuls.08_05_bad_example


Good Example:

Good design of a long, content-rich document. This single document is divided into numerous sections, resulting in each page being no longer than four screenfuls.08_05_good_example