Infinite scrolling is a hot trend for web design and can be often seen on social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. The further you scroll down the page, more content populates without having to use a scroll bar.
Content creation will always be critical for digital marketing, and now the display of that content is equally important. But how do you know if infinite scrolling is right for your website? Here are a couple of things to consider before instituting infinite scrolling.
Content and Images
Companies that have lots of content and images on their websites are perfect for infinite scrolling. Websites that display this type of content are typically used for entertainment or are browsing particular subject matter. The user is given lots of information in the form of graphics and bold headlines, it makes for quick browsing. Mashable is a great example of heavy graphics and bold headlines.
In contrast, an ecommerce website needs to have a footer that contains contact and account information or company policies and privacy notices. In a non-ecommerce site, a menu button containing pertinent information can be tucked up at the top of page, making the layout work well.
Searching For Products and Services
If your company relies on the website for searching, then an infinite scroll design is probably not the best option. Hubspot recommends, “if your company relies on navigation or sending readers through a funnel (to buy, to learn more, and so on), infinite scrolling could make it harder for the user to navigate.”
When Etsy attempted to use infinite scrolling, it didn’t pan out the way company had hoped. When a user receives 16 options to choose from, the need for additional products becomes redundant. Dan McKinley admitted that they should have put idea through A/B Testing and gotten to know the users who use Etsy better. The bottom line: for folks who are searching rather than browsing on a website, infinite scrolling does not work well.
Still not sure if infinite scrolling is right for your website? Here are a few pros and cons of infinite scrolling:
- It doesn’t slow down your website
- Easier to display large amounts of content
- Great for updating real time information
- There isn’t a search option
- Readers can’t skip around easily
In conclusion, there are many pros and cons, so it’s best you get to know your users before bringing on a new interface. If you do decide to make the switch, try to test it out before making it a permanent change.