Question #4: How Do Different Devices Impact How Users Scroll?

Jack Maden  |  May 25, 2017

Jack Maden  |  May 25, 2017


This is the fourth post in a series that aims to put your website on trial. In order to truly understand customer behavior, you have to ask questions that acknowledge your users as peoplerather than as mere numbers in a report. This series asks five such questions, and shows you how to answer them by being clever with website heatmaps.

The first article in the series focused on revealing which content is most valuable to your users, while the second looked at how to measure if personalized content actually drives on-page engagement. The third, meanwhile, discussed how to measure if the template for all your product and landing pages is working as best as it could. 

This post asks the following of your website: "how do different devices impact how users scroll?"


Do you - yes, you - scroll further on your mobile or desktop? Maybe that's not a question you've considered before, because I mean who cares.

But, for web analysts, UX people - in fact anyone connected to optimizing websites - the answer is actually very important.

Knowing how far users scroll across devices is key to knowing how best to design your web pages. Indeed, there’s no point having a call to action if it’s in a place where nobody sees it. Can you say with certainty how different groups of users respond to varying page lengths across your website?

You could spend hours digging through reports on device screen resolutions, painstakingly calculating an average for each page on your site, before manually superimposing that pixel count onto a screenshot of your website.

Or you could just load up a Decibel Insight Scroll Heatmap, which does all that for you.

p10 scrollmap.jpg

A Decibel Insight Scroll Heatmap automatically calculates the average fold of users of the applied segment

Apply visitor segmentation to Scroll Heatmaps to see exactly how different groups of users behave on your web pages. Discover the average fold across devices, user scroll depth, and the levels of attention given to on-page content down the page.

Spot opportunities for personalization by comparing different visitor segments. Are mobile users from direct traffic scrolling further than desktop users coming from organic search? Do desktop users pay more attention to mid-level elements than tablet users?


Scroll and Reach Heatmaps in Comparison Mode

Knowing how far your users are scrolling across devices – and how attentive they are while doing so – is essential. Combining this kind of insight with value analysis of on-page elements, as discussed in the first post in this series, gives you a highly informative indication of how to structure your web pages.

Infinite scrolling is fashionable in web design at the moment, used by the big players like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to keep their users engaged. But can you say with certainty it’s what your users want, and what your website needs? Use Scroll Heatmaps to assess how engaged your users are across all devices – sometimes it pays to be short and sweet.


Next time, we'll ask the following question of your website: 'Which elements are frustrating my users? What needs to change?'

Stay tuned - or, if you can't wait til then, get the full, detailed ebook that accompanies this series - complete with exclusive material and bonus tips - by hitting the banner below now.

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Jack Maden

Written on May 25, 2017 by:

Jack Maden

Jack is Digital Manager at Decibel, the best digital experience intelligence platform around! He also runs philosophy break.


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