What Is The Future For Infinite Scrolling In Web Design?

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Web design is continually changing. As web technology improves, many website functions improve and change with them, as designers and marketers continue to find newer and better ways to serve website viewers. Infinite scrolling is one such idea that offers many benefits to some websites, but it is not without drawbacks. Considering this, is there still a place for infinite scroll in current web design?

The Positives of Infinite Scroll

Infinite scroll is a convenient way for viewing a lot of content without having to continually click from page to page. Many prominent websites that filter huge amounts of information (think Facebook, and other social media sites) use infinite scrolling to help users easily scan content, regardless of the type of device being used. Infinite scroll is especially suited for mobile phones with smaller screens, where clicking is more cumbersome, in general, as it helps a website to keep their users engaged in the content.

Infinitely scrolling data also refreshes quickly, so it is a great choice for sites that have large amounts of content continually being added. In general, web design with infinite scroll gives viewers the easiest and fastest way to view information, which is why is has become so popular on websites with large amounts of content. Additionally, infinite scroll goes through a great deal of data quickly, without bogging down the way clicking to a new page sometimes can. Also, each new page that scrolls is considered a page view where SEO is concerned.

The Negatives of Infinite Scroll

One of the main downsides of being able to view a lot of content so easily is that infinite scroll prevents users from conveniently searching for something specific. This means a website using infinite scroll must have a good search function so users can at least search in that way. A website that utilizes infinite scrolling must also compensate for the fact that there can be no footer, which is an area on many websites that is used for important information such as contact links, sitemaps, navigation links, and more. All of these things must be included in some other way.

Additionally, infinite scroll prevents users from bypassing a lot of information, since they must scroll through it all. This can be inconvenient when a user wants to get back to a previously viewed segment, or find something specific. Also, continuous scroll requires the use of JavaScript, which some web design experts feel may affect optimization and page rank.

Should A Website Use Infinite Scroll?

The answer as to whether a website should use infinite scroll is individual to the specific website. Based on the benefits and disadvantages that come with scrolling, a company must consider the type and amount of information they plan on presenting on their website, and determine if the pros outweigh the cons. Sites that are constantly being updated, and deliver larger amounts of content may still be better off using infinite scroll, especially considering how easy it is for mobile access. This type of web design works well for social sites, entertainment websites, and any site where many people are adding or viewing information continuously, on a ‘latest information first’ basis, rather than searching for content.

Sites that should avoid infinite scroll are those with things to display and sell, or content that must be easily navigated by topic, title, or some other organizational method. Also, if a site does not have a lot of content, there is probably no need for scrolling, since standard navigation would be more convenient.

Infinite scroll is a great web design feature for many websites, providing a smooth and convenient way for users to view large amounts of content. Still, it may not be the best for every website, so incorporating it into a web design must be carefully considered. Currently, infinite scroll is a very popular feature on many websites, but its future and desirability in web design can always change, the same way in which web design technology changes!

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