The idea of having content “above the fold” was a logical way to design years ago when the Internet was in its infancy and everyone was using the same size computer; but that was the ‘90s. Today, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of screen sizes. Most of us personally own several different sized screens! Designing content to be “above the fold” is no longer possible (or necessary).
“But they won’t know to scroll”
Yes. Yes, they will. Due to the popularity of mobile devices and responsive web design, people know. They have learned to embrace the scroll the same they have learned to embrace all the other changes made to adapt to advanced technology. For example, think about hyperlinks. It has become common sense that different colored or underlined text is a link to another page (rather than typing “Click here!” when you want people to act).
Easing your transition
If you are still nervous about scrolling, here is some information to help you get comfortable with the scrolling involved with responsive web design.
Social media has trained people
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest…they all require lots of scrolling. With 74% of online adults use social networking sites, it is pretty clear that the majority of users have gotten used to scrolling.
Your navigation can be there
The idea of users being lost in a sea of scrolling is just a little dramatic. You can have the website designed so that no matter how far someone scrolls, the main navigation is always on screen. Check out this responsive design example where the navigation is always available in the top right corner.
Headers and footers are still there
Content is still broken up into different sections and pages, so scrolling is not eternal. Your users will be able to reach the standard navigation landmarks – headers and footers – with ease.
Try out some websites
Not all responsive websites are created equal and not every design will be a good match for your needs. Check out this list of responsive web design examples and pick and choose the elements you like best. And don’t forget to talk to your designer; he or she will have insights you have never considered.
The mobile revolution has made responsive design the only logical option for web design. You never know what type of screen someone is viewing your content on and the static/short sites of yesteryear have gone away. Embrace the scroll.