Scrolling pages, like this one here, allow you to group multiple interactions on page. As well as creating a modern web-style user experience for learners, using scrolling pages mean you don't have to artificially chunk up your learning content into amounts that will fit in a single interaction.
However, scrolling pages aren't always the best choice; like all design approaches they are best suited to different needs and type of content.
To help you decide when to use scrolling pages, here are our guidelines on their strengths and weaknesses:
- Browsable learning. If you're creating content that you want learners to be able to browse and jump-around in, scrolling pages are for you. With much more content on a page, you enable learners to scroll and scan to find the information they need. For example, we see great examples of customers using scrolling pages to create pre-boarding and onboarding modules, digitised policies and internal communications that they want learners to be able to browse.
- 'In the moment' learning. Scrolling pages that feel like websites also work well for content that a learner might need to look up in the moment. Clicking through a series of sections and pages takes too much time for a learner who needs the answer right now; opening a single page and jumping to the section they need it much more realistic.For example, we've helped Elucidat customers create brilliant on-the-job process and procedure training and 'how to' guides using this approach.
- Mobile first learning. When smartphones are your learner's primary device, we'd recommend sticking with navigation that feels natural on a handheld device. This means minimizing clicks and small buttons, and maximising the scroll. For example, Elucidat customers have created scrolling product-knowledge sheets for customer service assistants to use on the shop floor.
- Heavily mandated learning. By their very nature, scrolling pages allow learners to navigate easily up and down the page, controlling their own experience. They aren't designed for forcing a linear route or locking the experience down. If you need to prove that learners have viewed or interacted with everything on a page, you'll get the clearest user experience by using short pages instead.
- Elucidat assigns scores on a page level, so when you're creating assessments you'll need to put each question on a separate page. This also means you can separate learning points and allows learners to focus on one question at a time.
Recommended Best Practice
Here are our top tips on creating scrolling pages:
1. Use clear sections and headings to break up the page
When you group content together on a scrolling page, it's advisable to break it down into manageable chunks. This makes the page easy to scan and helps learners find what they need quickly.
Different coloured backgrounds and large titles are a great visual way of breaking up your page.
Watch a demonstration of multi-section pages being created in this webinar.
2. Add a page progress menu
A page progress menu is an effective way of showing your learners what's on the page 'at a glance' and which sections they've completed so far. These menus also act as an additional form of navigation; learners can click a part of the menu to jump straight to it.
See the page menu in action in this example.
3. Keep the page length manageable
When a page is too long, you risk learners losing interest or feeling like they're in a never-ending scroll. To keep your pages focused we recommend a maximum of seven interactions per page, though often two or three is enough.
Remember that you don't have a to choose between one scrolling page or lots of short pages; you can have several shorter scrolling pages combined to make one learning experience, as you can see in this example.