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A reader asks:
I’ve heard from so many places you shouldn’t put anything below the scroll. Is it really OK?
There are so many rules in Web design that you really shouldn’t break. It’s a shame that the Do Not Scroll rule has gotten so much long-standing traction.
Back when we all started designing web pages, we noticed that people tended to look at pages in one glance, and then move on to a different site. The theory was they wouldn’t make the modicum of effort to use the scroll bar to look at the bottom of the page.
This fed the idea of packing as much information at the top of the page as possible, often with nothing at all below. It lead to a raft of websites that could fit on postage stamps, a favorite new refrain of “Keep it above the scroll!” and a deep-seated fear of putting anything on the lower part of the page at all.
Then there came blogs.
Blogs are all about scroll, with the most recent postings at the top of the page and story after story trailing down the page. I’ll bet you, reading this right now, will give this blog a good scroll so you can see what else we’ve written about recently.
Yes, people do tend to look at the upper-left-hand corner of the page more carefully than other places on your website. But it really is OK to put information at the bottom of the page. It’s sure a lot better than fitting everything you can into a postage stamp.
Take a look at these glorious examples of pages that contain loads of information well below the scroll, pulled at random from the Web browsers open on my machine: