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Smarter Scolling - Site Analytics and Visual Display to Prompt Users to Scroll on Webpages

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000237867D
Publication Date: 2014-Jul-17
Document File: 6 page(s) / 149K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed are a method and system that utilize on-screen cues paired with website analytics to notify users that relevant content exists below the fold on a web page and requires scrolling to view.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 51% of the total text.

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Smarter Scolling - Site Analytics and Visual Display to Prompt Users to Scroll on Webpages

In order to include all relevant information on one page, websites need more space than can be produced in a standard 1024 x 768 screen. Therefore, sites display more information extending below the screen, known as the 'fold', through a common interaction technique, scrolling, utilizing a persistent or non-persistent visual indicator of page location (i.e. the scrollbar).

While scrolling is a universally understood site interaction, research has shown that users lose focus beyond information first presented on-screen, spending 80% of the time viewing information above the fold, and only 20% below the fold. [1] As web pages provide more information below the fold, users risk missing important content or necessary actions, such as clicking a button.

This problem has been magnified with the diversity of screen sizes. Designers can no longer solely design for 1024 x 768, as desktop users can utilize different monitor sizes, display resolutions, and browsers, which change the location of the page fold. Mobile devices, tablets and smartphones, also require different screen layouts and often lack a persistent on-screen scrollbar within the browser.

Documented design techniques encourage users to scroll through a page, such as utilizing a purposely-designed cut-off of content or simply designing pages with less clutter and relevant content. [2, 3] However, these design techniques do not account for various screen sizes and do not analyze the priority of content below the fold.

The novel contribution is a method and system that utilizes on-screen cues paired with website analytics to notify users that relevant content exists below the fold and requires scrolling. By providing on-screen cues, the system provides users greater awareness of material below the fold if the scrollbar is not noticed. This is especially important for mobile browsers without a persistent scrollbar. Utilizing site analytics such as the number of clicks for buttons, form fields, or links, or determining a user's screen-size can assist in determining what is presented on screen to the user then provide more information, assisting users to determine which sections of the site are most important.
[4]

The Figures below show a website on which users may not scroll due to page rendering and the position of the page's fold. In Figure 1, a desktop view, the page cuts off at a natural break in content. This could mislead users into thinking the entire page is presented, so users do not scroll down and subsequently miss page content. When rendered on a smart phone (Figure 2), the same page not only suffers from its vertical content appearing abo...