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I'm designing a screen where I want the user to scroll because the "go forward"/"go back" buttons are below the fold. To hint to the user that they should scroll, I've got a line of text that is half-visible above the fold (see image below).

In my own experience, I've seen most users instinctively swipe up on a given app screen, presumably to make sure they aren't missing anything. Is there any consensus on this?

enter image description here

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    It all depends on what's visible above the fold -- so long as there's some visible cue that there's more below (such as your half-line of text) you're in good shape. (But note that different devices have different aspect ratios; you need to make sure your layout works on all of common ones for whichever device(s) you're targeting...) – Daniel Beck Sep 7 '16 at 18:33
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    It would be interesting to know why you have to force the user to scroll? Can you show the same information without the need of scrolling? Just curious. – Ilias Bennani Sep 8 '16 at 14:12
  • Two reasons: (1) There's so much content below that it couldn't even fit on the screen if I removed the stack entirely, and (2) the stack transforms and expands over the next 3 screens. I need to make room for this because the stack transformation communicates how the whole app works, it's not just window dressing. – Matty Sallin Sep 8 '16 at 22:21
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Yes, I agree that if the user see's clipped content they are likely to scroll to see more.

The big component of this that I would be nervous about if I were you is how confident you can be that the content will be clipped, and not end neatly. If the size of screen changes and the content ends neatly with your horizontal line the user will almost certainly not scroll.

  • Yes, it's designed so that it will always show a half-line of text regardless of screen size. – Matty Sallin Sep 8 '16 at 3:32
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    Than you should be fine – stackoverfloweth Sep 8 '16 at 3:32
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Swiping up is pretty standard behavior, but anything you can do to encourage it helps.

Having the text midway showing automatically tells the user that more information is below the current screen, and that swiping up is required to access that additional information. You may not be able to have text half showing in every situation, but I believe that behavior of instinctively swiping up regardless of page contents is becoming second nature.

Keep in mind this is standard with "most" users. If this is for specific groups of users who you believe may not exhibit this behavior, you need to find an alternative. Determine the context of your situation, and act appropriately.

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I don't know of any research that specifically does or doesn't support that theory, but anecdotally it makes sense. Even outside the context of mobile experiences, the incomplete letters on the fold are "readable" more or less, and will encourage the user to scroll down. See the "word shape model" outlined here:

https://www.microsoft.com/typography/ctfonts/WordRecognition.aspx

That being said, have you considered a more explicit signifier adjacent to the lines above that? Just my opinion, but I would think that would be doable given that you have a very ample amount of real estate.

  • Any suggestions of a more explicit signifier? Or examples? – Matty Sallin Sep 8 '16 at 3:29

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