It is human tendency to measure any success with numbers. Traditionally, no of clicks have been a tool to measure usability and scrolling has been a measure of findability or information visibility. But its time we move on. This is the age of handheld devices that are used extensively for content consumption. Internet speed is reaching Gigabytes and users spend a lot of time-consuming content across devices of multiple form factors. Social media walls are scrolling beyond infinity. E-Commerce portals give you more details with every tap or click. The new age consumers are hungry for content and they don’t mind clicking and scrolling to discover it.
Hiding the Information
In the enterprise world, we often cater to two major kinds of user persona: Business users and Technical Users. The Business users want vital information shown in the top layer while the technical users want to see every bit of information. Let me give you an analogy of a taxi ride. The passengers only care about point A to B and time taken, while the driver needs to understand traffic, routes, and much more details. If the passenger is equated to the business user, the driver can be the technical users. If you are to design an app to cater to both the users, you need to give the right set of information to the right set of users. A business user would prefer to see the just the vital data, while for the technical users, you can design a system that would drill down further with more number of clicks and scrolls. Hiding or showing the right information to the target user group is more crucial than the number of clicks and scroll length here.
Beyond the fold
When I started my career, I was asked to design portals that would show all the information right there on the first fold. Back then, internet speed was limited and companies wanted to grab the attention of users right there on that first fold. But today, curiosity is at the driver seat. Users are hungry to find more information and they are willing to dig for it. The design is best experienced if it is engaging. Scrolling is ok, as long as it keeps the eyes glued to the display and the brain hunting for more information.
Interaction patterns have evolved and users have adapted themselves to the new age, looking for information beyond infinity.