Pro and Cons of Infinite Scrolling
Design, in recent times, has enjoyed a lot of amazing advancements that have made life easier. One such, which has taken the world of design by storm, albeit caused a lot of controversies, is the concept of indefinite scrolling. A major website design trend that has taken the world of design by storm, causing some controversy while at it. The technique is just amazing for some websites and for some frustrating. This is why, like every other new design technique, you don’t adopt it because it’s trendy; you should do it because it’s a part of your design process altogether. Choosing the right scrolling technique can make or mar your project, which is why today, we will be examining the significant pros and cons of infinite scrolling websites.
What is Infinite scrolling?
The concept of infinite scrolling has been thrown around a lot lately, but what exactly is it? With lots of one-pages sites popping up every day, there is a need to tell the difference between parallax scrolling and infinite scrolling. For parallax scrolling, it’s a technique where the foreground and background images move at different speeds just to create a feeling of depth. It is commonly used on one-pagers to mimic the feel of having multiple screens or pages for different kinds of content on the website.
Infinite scrolling in simple terms refers to scrolling infinitely. To put it into more perspective, when you visit a website page and content gets extended as you scroll down the page. The page that has no end technique is known as Infinite scrolling. In some cases, it can be presented in a continuous scroll manner or shortened with an option that allows users toggle between stopping and continued scrolling — popularly used by social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, and more.
Pros of Infinite Scrolling
1. Retain Users
As a website owner, if you want users to remain on your websites for extended periods, infinite scrolling is your go-to. Apart from the fact that users scroll longer in attempts to find specific content because contents are frequently updated, users find themselves scrolling and engaging with new content as they pop up. This technique helps to get varieties of content up in the users’ faces, even those that they were not looking for or aware of before visiting the website.
2. Great for Mobile and Touch
No matter which side you are on, everybody agrees that mobile phones were made for scrolling. When you’re on your mobile, you are expected to scroll. It’s just how it is, and nobody has complained yet. It’s both expected and desired. This is where infinite scrolling really thrives as it works well with touch, which most mobiles operate. Users can scroll by moving up and down their screen and tap or click when they see anything engaging.
3. Compliments Visuals
Scroll through websites like Pinterest, and you’d see just how much infinite scrolling and visuals blend. They were made for each other. Images can be displayed limitlessly in just about any shape or size, combined with texts, colors, and fitted together like one giant puzzle for aesthetic effect or projected independently to emphasize their subject. Infinite scrolling is responsible for the engaging effect of various photo sharing and e-commerce websites.
4. Easy Accessibility
This goes without saying. Every user knows how to scroll. While other techniques may pose some problems with comprehension. All you have to do is move up and down a page, and you get your content. It’s that simple.
5. Fosters Creativity
The simplicity of infinite scrolling means that it is not jampacked by so many things at once. There’s space to focus on more creative aspects of the design and really integrate various effects that create an overall amazing user experience.
Cons of Infinite Scrolling
1. Lack of access to information
Specific information is definitely much more difficult to access on infinite scroll. In fact, one of the major challenges of this technique is the lack of footers. Often, users are interested in finding information on the designers and company, which is usually difficult to reach due to footers being unavailable, leading to frustration on both parties.
2. Messy Navigation
Websites are rarely a one-way street, and users know that. When visitors use website, they do so by clicking links, skipping to and from, and bookmarking pages; to do this successfully, navigation has to come to play majorly. Things can get really difficult if everything on the website is on one giant page.
3. Identical Design
Most of the time, unfortunately, most sites that use this technique look a lot alike, and designers can quickly fall into the loop of doing “something that everybody is doing” rather than creating something unique to the project.
4. Load Time and Crash Concerns
There are certainly only a few things worse than scrolling all the way and getting stuck, or worse, website crashes. Sites can just stop working and crash, and that can be a real pain in the neck if you are scrolling through engaging content.
From worrying about user experience to functionality and aesthetics, deciding what and what not to incorporate in your next project is undoubtedly a huge decision. When you make these decisions, you should remember that infinite scrolling, a cool and trendy technique with its own perks and demerits, is definitely worth taking time to consider.