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We’ve heard about the importance of “above the fold” in web design. However, you should also know there are certain websites that show much content below the fold and it seems to work for them. A long-scrolling or “infinite” website is one that appears to be bottomless. When a user scrolls below the fold on a landing page, more content becomes visible. Realize that long scrolling isn’t for everyone. To help you determine if it’s right for your type of business, consider the kind of website you want built and its intended purpose. In some cases, long scrolling can provide a great user experience (UX). A memorable UX encourages visitors to keep coming back.

Long Scrolling Complements Mobile-First Strategies

The mobile-first mindset is about prioritizing mobile user-friendliness in website design. Long scrolling helps because when accessing a website on a mobile device, often it’s much easier to scroll on a small screen than it is to push buttons on it. If users experience problems, they’ll abandon the website, but not the search.

Long Scrolling Mobile First Design

Example of Long Scrolling on a Mobile Website Design (Courtesy of Dribble)

Internal Pages for Storytelling Are Reduced with Long Scrolling

When telling stories, a smoother page transition is capable with long scrolling. By contrast, having to pause to click “Continue” to finish reading a story takes away from the UX. The wait can be long because of lags in shifting from one page to the next. This is mainly because of the delay from advertisement links taking time to load before the website displays the main content.

Long Scrolling Shown on Space Needle Home Page

Long scrolling can be great for storytelling (Courtesy of Seattle’s Space Needle)

Long Scrolling Helps Showcase Bold Website Designs and Exciting Interactive Coding Tricks

Web designers now have more flexibility than ever before. CSS, JavaScript, and JQuery AJAX coding advancements make it possible for them to create the boldest, most beautiful, responsive website designs. They can add interest by incorporating hover techniques, and scroll-based animations. This helps combat scrolling monotony by keeping the user engaged at certain points. Experienced website designers have the tools and creativity to show off their skills.

Firewatch Game Website

Image Courtesy of Firewatch

Content is Easier to View, Read, and Digest when Long Scrolling is Applied

All users, especially mobile ones, like to grasp what a website is about in a few seconds or they’ll lose interest. Scattered images, crowded text, and too many navigational bars can make a website look unfocused. However, long scrolling organizes and eliminates excessive navigation for easier readability. For example, take social media websites such as Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook. They use long scrolling to display visuals that captivate. The technique streamlines and organizes the content and it keeps users engaged.

Long Scrolling May Lead to Higher Conversions

Various studies have compared conversion rates based on page length. Many have found that long pages rule over shorter ones. It’s good for websites to display content that answers questions about its offerings so users can make an informed decision. Although there are no guarantees with long scrolling or traditional website design when it comes to conversions, it’s worth testing.

The long-scrolling website design technique has been around for a while. There are definitely advantages for some. Based on today’s popular user demand, it’s a keeper. Consumers may expect to see businesses in certain industries use it. Long scrolling is perfect for websites that primarily show photos, tell in-depth stories, or have many drop-down lists with excessive text.

A Ruditser
Andrew Ruditser
CEO & Co-Founder at MAXBURST |

Andrew Ruditser is co-founder and CEO of MAXBURST, an NY Digital Agency that's focused on creating custom websites and digital marketing solutions to grow brands online. He has been featured in the New York Times, INC Magazine, Huffington Post, and is a regular contributor for Fast Company. With a full staff of talented web professionals in their New York City and Long Island offices, MAXBURST is always ready to tackle any web based project.