6 Ways to Improve Long-Scroll Mobile Websites

Long-scroll mobile illustration

In this fast-evolving digital world, a designer’s aim is to help the user save their valuable time by simplifying user experiences. The more simplified your design is, the more conversions you can expect, and since we currently exist in an era where mobile devices own the majority share of the market, this can sometimes be quite tricky.

Among other things, handheld devices are used to shop online, more increasingly than ever before, so it’s completely essential that your website’s usability on mobile meets the user’s expectations. One such factor that tends to let the user down is long-scroll websites.

Why Are Long-Scroll Pages Problematic?

Long-scroll websites on mobile devices are not often appreciated; the overall height of your website naturally increases on mobile, because in most cases, the horizontal elements become stacked, as depicted in the figure below. This is bad because long-scroll websites break the user’s interest, resulting in them bouncing to another website.

Side-by-side mobile-desktop comparison

Let’s highlight the drawbacks of long-scroll websites.

Scrolling Quickly Becomes Sluggish and Boring

When you adapt your desktop layout for mobile devices, the content usually becomes vertically stacked, and the overall webpage height increases ⏤ this divides the attention of your users. Repetitive scrolling can annoy the user very quickly, but you can avoid this by taking a mobile-first approach to website design.

Navigation Can be Unfriendly

The navigational structure of your website matters a lot, both on desktop and mobile. When you include lots information on a single webpage, it becomes cluttered (especially on a mobile device), and as a result, users find it difficult to reach their desired destination.

Footer navigations are considered important because users often scroll down to the footer to find their next webpage. If your mobile design is too long, users will likely find it difficult to navigate to other webpages, which will increase the bounce rate (bounce rate: the % of visitors who only visited one webpage in the session).

Why Should Long-Scroll Pages be Optimized?

According to Smart Insights, 48% of consumers do mobile research using search engines ⏤ organic traffic is considered to be a major source of traffic and conversions. Ignoring the ramifications of long-scroll pages can be a big loss to your business.

Ramifications of too much content infographic

Source: Formstack.

According to a 2016 Marketing Report by Salesforce, 68% of marketing agencies have integrated a mobile marketing strategy into their overall marketing strategy. Just these facts alone emphasize the importance of adopting a proper mobile strategy.

But now for the million-dollar question: how do you optimize the overwhelming scrolling structure of mobile websites when you have so much content to display?

Let’s take a look.

For mobile websites, there is no standard height that needs to be followed. It ultimately depends on the analysis of how your visitors browse the mobile website in question, however it is recommended that a mobile website should be readable in approximately three to five scrolls.

We also need to factor in the viewport height of the various mobile devices that exist today. All recent iPhones (the iPhone 6 and iPhone 7 series) should be included by default, however, when it comes to Android it’s difficult to identify which brands and which models should be considered. Take a look at this Brand Fragmentation Analysis by OpenSIgnal ⏤ this will surely give an idea about which Android devices are the most popular.

Brand fragmentation of mobile devices

According to the brand fragmentation analysis above, Samsung is clearly ruling the Android device market. By testing your mobile designs on the most commonly used devices, you can ensure that your layout and content is optimized for the majority share of your users.

Another Android device that should be considered is Google Nexus, because of its material design element. It’s quite common among designers to test their designs on this device.

Source: AppBrain.

2. Position CTA’s to Get the Most of the First Scroll

A famous saying applies here, “your first impression can be the last one”. The first scroll actually decides whether or not your users should hit the back button or not. The core information and call-to-action should be accessible within the first scroll, so that visitors can easily find what they’re looking for.

So the idea is that you insert the CTAs in a timely spot, and the important information (including links) should be placed conveniently within the first scroll, however, you shouldn’t take this too far. You shouldn’t stuff your above-the-fold-content with a bunch of calls to action.

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Source: Sitepoint