The importance of scroll bars for websites

The importance of scroll bars for websites

Considering the importance of scroll bars for proper site navigation, it’s surprising how often they are overlooked. For prospects or customers to navigate through your information, scrolling must be at the top of the priority list.

If it has scrolling, will anyone use it?

You may have heard some people say how much they hate scrolling, but users who are more than happy with the concept never complain. More users scroll each page they visit, and it’s second nature to them. Younger web surfers with shorter attention spans and older users who struggle with coordination are often the ones who don’t like to scroll. Sometimes those who are new to using computers and the Internet may complain for a while but soon forget as they realize how simple it is with practice. The best recommendation would be to configure your website layout in such a way that people can choose to scroll for more information or have basic usability without scrolling at all.

The mouse wheel revolution

More people like to scroll as the Internet becomes part of their daily lives, and the mouse wheel has played a major role in the change. Where previously scrolling required users to adjust the pointer on the small arrow and click hundreds of times, now they only need to roll a wheel in the middle of the mouse to move through a page or more at a time. This means that more website visitors are willing to scroll any number of pages, but you still have to consider the small number that will not scroll at all when creating your site layout.

Eliminating scrolling entirely is a bad idea

The best strategy is to have all the important and necessary links and information in a clear view and available to all without having to scroll, regardless of the size or resolution of your monitor. To be sensitive to all users, consider the worst case scenario and you will never disappoint anyone. An example might be on pages with large articles: most people who want to scroll can do so easily, and for others, you have links to each page of the article, and at the bottom of each page, links to go back to the part top again. The idea is not to make anything inaccessible to people who do not want to move.

You have never scrolled from left to right on your site!

There really is nothing worse than wanting to see web pages that scroll from left to right! If you can’t figure out why that would be bad, take a moment to think about this: every time a reader reaches the end of a sentence, they need to scroll further to the right, then to the left, and then to the right … and and so on! It is a very frustrating experience, especially when the content looks good, but it is very painful to transmit.

Don’t use flash for scroll bars

Never think that you can make better scroll bars using Flash, because they will be non-standard and difficult for all users. Of course, some of them look great, but visitors are often repelled by them.

Another problem with self-made scroll bars is that many internet users take the time to see it for what it is, as they are so used to the standard ones. If the mouse wheel is not scrolling, which is also common, they will give up and leave the site. If the standard scroll bar matches your site’s color schemes is not the point, and users will appreciate the fact that they can find it immediately if they scroll or use the mouse wheel if they prefer. If someone visits your website and finds that they need to spend more time learning how to navigate, they will opt out and find another one that is set as expected, with standard scroll bars.

New pages take time – scroll bars are fast

Pagination is a bad alternative to scroll bars because there are many factors that affect the experience of each site and visitor. Depending on the size and resolution of people’s screen, even with pagination, they will need to scroll. Forcing users to select the next button at the bottom of each screen is a bad website design in anyone’s opinion. Any user who hates scrolling will tell you that waiting for pages to reload is definitely worse. Your website statistics will show how many people are abandoning your articles midway because it takes too long to get to the end.

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