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What should be the maximum length of a page on Mobile Website? I'm making a website in which some pages are long because of lengthy articles. Should I divide long pages into multiple pages?

Should I not keep pages too long? Would that be difficult for users?

Is there any UX research about page length on mobile websites?

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There's no one answer to this question. It all depends on many many factors. –  DA01 Nov 14 '11 at 20:31

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

To step through and come to an answer, look at what the two interaction options get you.

The article is the same length regardless, so really this is about scrolling vs pagination (or similar)

To take out some factors, lets assume you do pagination in a way that doesn't add to load time, its all pre-loaded and your just swapping content.

Lets also look at the mobile device (as far as it acts as an input device). The touch control devices teach users to flick and other gestures to scroll quickly. So scrolling is quite easy for these devices, compared to older devices where I may have to use a button over and over. My assumption is your targeting the former, not the latter.

Another assumption I would make is that if your going to do short pages, they need to fit the screen exactly without scrolling, or it will make the interaction difficult as I am not going between scrolling and pagination. Causing me to change how I view more information.

Benefits of one long page:

  1. I remain in context the entire time I am reading and can go back to reference items without having to remember what page they were on

  2. I can scan an article much quicker (which I am more apt to do perhaps when reading on a mobile device)

Benefits of small pages:

  1. Keeps information in small consumable chunks (perhaps better for older non-touch devices)

Cons on long pages:

  1. Less optimal for older devices (maybe)

  2. Advertisements reload getting more page views and variation

Cons on short pages:

  1. Content is presented out of context

  2. reduction in scanning speed (especially since we are talking about articles)

  3. I need to realize on each page that there is more content on another page

  4. Many of the same issues as there are with a real newspaper where the rest of an article is in section a3 instead of all in one place.

My vote as it may be obvious is one long page as it seems more natural for an article and allows me to scan quickly and go back and reread without having to page back and forth. Unlike a book I am more likely to consume the information at one time rather than coming back and reading more and more from session to session, where paging may be appropriate to allow me to "bookmark" mentally (or bookmark using a product feature) where I am.

Sorry I don't have any specific research to support but this is how I walked through to my conclusion

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I think this is a great answer, the only thing I would add would be to consider progressive page loads. So as I scroll to the bottom of the "page" you can automatically add in the next "page" of content. Just like the way facebook continually adds in items to the news feed. Scrolling on mobile devices is easy to do and we've always found people prefer scrolling to loading extra pages. –  JLWeber Nov 15 '11 at 13:40
    
@JLWeber I completely agree, infinite scrolling with a "load more" is great for mobile –  Ben Brocka Nov 15 '11 at 22:31

here is a study that I cam across with some data as it pertains to the web. It was originally posted in '06 but many still find it helpful. The finding don't translate directly to mobile but may give you better insight in ref to page length.

http://blog.clicktale.com/2006/12/23/unfolding-the-fold/

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