Natalie Ashes Team : Web Production

Do users scroll on mobile?

Natalie Ashes Team : Web Production

A question we ask ourselves every few months. Devices change, people change, websites change so we need to keep asking the same questions as often we get different answers.

I believe that there is a time and a place for scrolling. Just because a heatmap says that people scroll does this necessarily mean we have kicked a interface goal? Maybe they are scrolling as they can't find what they want. If a home page wasn't scrollable would people know what they were missing?

In my opinion content needs to be somewhat tailored. The home page caters for all users so the content is going to be much more diluted. Product or details pages mean a user has actively sought that area of the site so there is no reason scrolling content can't be developed; the user is in the place they have chosen to be. Why force users to scroll on a page where they don't want to be and that doesn't have content taylored to a particular area of the site? There are arguments for and against.

Yesterday I spent hours watching video recordings of mobile users, video recordings offer insights that heatmaps can't always provide. I noticed a pattern on the home page. The people who were scrolling were doing it endlessely, they didn't click a single product. It wasn't until they got to the footer did they then drill down into a category, presumabaly a category that interested them.

I backed up what I was seeing by comparing the Scroll and click maps.

Here is the Scrollmap. At first glance you look at this and think "awesome, 25% of people are scrolling to the bottom of the home page" which is true, this is awesome.

You might conclude that people dropoff the Scrollmap as they click on products along the way. Comparing the click maps to the scrollmaps shows this isn't the case.

(I have cropped out the middle section as it had not one click)

What does this mean? Nothing really I just like looking at analytics and I had to write a blog.

BUT if it has to mean something then I would say this:

"people do scroll, does this mean they have a good experience? Maybe not. They may be looking for categories or a way to get to get to the footer or back up to the top. Consider at the bottom of scrolling pages to have blocks for categories. I know when I scroll through endless products a home page I often don't click any because I want to see what else is next but it would be good to have an easy way to get to the category I want after the endless scrolling."