Over two months ago, I read some findings from a usability study about “scrolling and attention.”Â The data was very interesting, and I knew I wanted to post about it, but I couldn’t get a handle on what the data was telling me.
Sometimes, when you know an insight is there, you must “shelve” the data for a while to rest your brain.Â It’s why the “let me sleep on it” approach is such a popular decision-making tactic
So, after a long gestation period, here are my 3 key concepts for conversion rate optimizers who want to design elegant, persuasive online experiences that make money:
Key Concept #1 – The 80/20 Rule remains a powerful force in the universe.Â Pareto’s principle never goes away…ever.Â It just continues to recur in everything, all the time.Â Bow to its power! The takeaway from Jakob Nielsen’s report is that, while users are more willing to scroll ‘below the fold’ than they used to be, the area above the fold still gets 80% of the time spent looking at a page.Â See the chart for the eerie split at 80.3% and 19.7%!
Key Concept #2 – The concept of keeping key content and call(s) to action ‘above the fold’ is still important.Â But, if you expect users to scroll below the fold, you’d better make sure the page has good scent so they know that relevant content awaits them if they do use their scroll bar.
Key Concept #3 – The bottom of every page is key.Â Note in Nielsen’s chart that the time spent fixating below the fold remains very low until the very bottom of pages.Â This is due to users looking for the bottom of the page’s container.Â It’s a bit grainy, but look at the screenshot of a gaze plot where the orange bar that is the active window’s bottom border gets the last fixation on the page.Â The user looks for the bottom, finds it, then knows they need to either click something or scroll back up.Â This presents an opportunity to place call(s) to action at the bottom of tall pages that necessitate scrolling, especially catalog pages with many products.Â Maybe it’s a place to experiment with primary and/or secondary calls to action?
I think there are perhaps even more insights to be gained from Nielsen’s data published back in March.Â Has anyone else been digesting the data, and do you have different thoughts?Â Let an analyst know.