I received a useful comment from reader "Arium" on my post "Tabs, used right". Arium was helpfully pointing me to some interesting research from ClickTale on whether people scroll down past "the fold" (the point where a long web page runs off the bottom of the screen).
- 91% of the page-views had a scroll-bar.
- 76% of the page-views with a scroll-bar, were scrolled to some extent.
- 22% of the page-views with a scroll-bar, were scrolled all the way to the bottom.
If this sample is representative, there's a one-in-five (roughly) chance of stuff down the bottom gets read. Not great, but maybe not-so-dissimilar from the chances of lesser information if it were put on a succession of short pages rather than one long scrolling one. This is interesting given the received wisdom that stuff below the fold won't get read.