Every once in a while, we still find ourselves having to explain why non-scrolling web pages are a terrible idea. The notion is largely a hangover from the fixed-height, all-Flash days of the mid-90’s — a quaint time when everyone was behind identical 800 x 600 beige CRTs and enjoying animated GIFs at 56K. So let’s slap on a bracelet and think about what’s changed.

  • Try finding a mouse without a scroll wheel. Why do they all have them? People scrolled enough to necessitate a new standard 15 years ago.
  • What finally made trackpads really usable? Scrolling. What’s largely responsible for the shotgun R&D of multi-touch screens and trackpads? Scrolling.
  • What does a Blackberry do best?
  • What did the experts declare OK in 1997?
  • Have you looked at Twitter lately? It scrolls infinitely. So does another social network that I hear has some traction.

Nowadays, popular Android phones ship with 320 x 480 screens. Meanwhile, you can buy a 1920 x 1080 monitor for $200. Scrolling is essential to accommodating the range of modern web devices. Betray that fact, and you just may end up like this.