I have a client insisting he does not want to have a vertical scroll on his site. The content does not allow for this, but he's still insisting. Can anyone help me put up a case in educating him that what he is asking for is super old school.
Awesh has given a great link which should provide you with sufficient material to make your case. I would also recommend researching for research studies which show that the scrolling in websites is no longer a factor and users to do scroll to the end of a page and the concept of "above the fold" came from print design where the focus was getting the most important content right on top. To quote from this article
The term “above the scroll” actually comes from the land of print design. The “above the fold” concept still employed by newspapers today is the basis for the theory that you have to interest readers with the first thing they can see. Newspapers put stories, photos and text above the fold – or on the top half of the page which is visible when papers are sold – to entice buyers.
However for information that people do scroll I recommend looking at this article which references research from ClickTale about the scrolling behavior of users. To quote the article
Research debunking this myth is starting to pop up, and a great example of this is the report available on ClickTale.com3. In it, the researchers used their proprietary tracking software to measure the activity of 120,000 pages. Their research gives data on the vertical height of the page and the point to which a user scrolls. In the study, they found that 76% of users scrolled and that a good portion of them scrolled all the way to the bottom, despite the height of the screen. Even the longest of web pages were scrolled to the bottom.
The study by ClickTale is available at this link and and the following graphs taken from it show that people dont restrict themselves to only above the fold content
Another aspect to consider it that the concept of fold is not longer fixed and changes depending upon the the resolution of the device. Hence trying to define an optimal height as the "fold" is not going to work as people are going to access content from different devices and depending upon the resolution they may or may not have to scroll
To quote the same clicktale article
Unlike newspapers, the fold of a web page has no fixed location. Each user sees a different height of the viewable area depending on his screen size, window size, browser and browser add-ons. Let us confuse you even more by showing the distribution of the fold location in our data set:
As you can see, the fold location is concentrated around three peak areas. The peaks are located at about 430, 600 and 860 pixels. Do you recognize these sizes? No? These fold sizes correspond to the three most popular screen resolutions used today: 800×600, 1024×768 and 1280×1024. Except that they are missing about 170 pixels that correspond to the most common size of the non-client area of the browser. The dispersion around these peaks is accounted for by variations in screen size, window size, browsers and browser add-ons. Newer, wide screen formats add even more dispersion to the distribution of the fold. Note that the highest peak, located at 600 to 610 pixels, accounts for less that 10 percent of the folds. So, where is the fold? Itâ€™s all over the place!
Lastly you can provide examples of how designers have used scrolling in innovative ways to make the website more user friendly as highlighted in the links provided below