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I am wondering if anyone has data about this. "Scroll to next section" buttons are usually visible on the first screen of a website at the center bottom. If one clicks on them the browser scrolls the screen so that the headline of the following section is at the top of the screen.

I usually ignore these buttons and scroll myself, but would be interested in how often they are used. Do people understand them more as a visual element that invites scrolling or as a button that should be clicked?

And what about mobile devices? Do people tap the button or swipe the screen?

  • I never use any of those buttons on mobile or pc, tend to think they are useless. Thats basically the same as a "back" button - the browser offers all that! – Xatenev Sep 15 '16 at 15:55
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This depends entirely on the interface, and the familiarity with the user.

Scrolling is one of the easiest actions a user can take, both on mobile and on desktop.

Usually there is no incentive to learn to use a "scroll to next" button, because it's so easy to ignore it.

However there are cases in which the nature of the content means that these tools can be very valuable. One example is on the Reddit mobile application:

enter image description here

Here, the circular grey button on the right is a "scroll to next" function. It is very useful to be able to skip entire comment trees, so the user is incentivised to use this feature.

So, in summary, yes these features can be useful, but I would only implement it if user research indicates that it is needed due to the format and content of the site.

If you test and it's obvious that users are spending a great deal of time scrolling past content, then consider solutions. The solution could be to minimise all content so that users "opt in" to reading more. It could be to display the "scroll to next" button if the UI detects a lot of fast scrolling.

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I doubt if there's a published research about "scroll to section" buttons. That said, designs shouldn’t need indicators to tell users to scroll.

Quoting from an article on NN/g:

Users can be encouraged to scroll by giving them good reason to do so. Visual elements can draw the eye down the page.

In usability testing, the occasional user does a “lay of the land” scroll to get a sense of what’s on a page before engaging, but this is far from standard behavior. Users scroll when there is reason to.

There's also an interesting article on "Illusion of completeness" that address this issue.

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I don't think there is any publicly available research on the usage of the "scroll to next section" button, but I can tell you that I don't even pay attention to their existence.

However, if i had a long article with the subsections like wikipedia does, as a developer I would implement such function.

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