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Web Design Movement: The Infinite Scroll

What is infinite scrolling?

The infinite scroll is a web design technique that prevents the browser scroll bar from scrolling to the bottom of the page, causing the page to grow with additional content instead (Wikipedia). Instead of using pagination to display large feed of data, web designers use this effect to automatically load the next or previous data as soon as the user scrolls down to bottom of the page. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Tumblr are the most popular examples of social media websites that implemented the use of infinite scrolling effect.

Infinite Scrolling as a Web Design Trend

Aside from responsive web design and parallax scrolling effect, infinite scrolling is also one of the highly utilized web design trends this year. This technique solves the problem in dynamic content that is entering the feed because it simultaneously loads the data upon scrolling the page. It is no wonder why this effect is becoming popular nowadays because the need to click the page number to go to another post is no longer necessary for websites with this kind of design.

However, just because it is a trend, does not mean that you have to implement infinite scrolling to your website. To help decide as to whether or not you need to change the current design of your website, we have listed some reasons why you would need it in your web design.

You need it for:

  1. Touch devices- If your website has a mobile version and your target is touch screen users, then infinite scrolling web design is perfect for you. It works well with the touch environment as it makes easier to swipe upwards or downwards than clicking the page buttons.
  2. Image heavy websites- websites containing lots of photos will surely benefit from this technique. It can load all the images without the hassle of clicking the pagination. Take for example the image sharing sites like Pinterest, Instagram and Google’s image search, they’re quite addicting to use because browsing all the photos by scrolling is a lot easier than tapping each next/previous button on the photo gallery.
  3. Content exposure- if you want a greater exposure for all your posts, then infinite scrolling can do this for you. In reality, it is very rare for most of the visitors to go beyond the first or second page to look for more interesting content, especially if the site has large volumes of content. However, with the infinite scrolling effect, scrutinizing every post is always a stress-free job because it provides constant stream of instant results.
  4. Faster browsing- infinite scrolling provides faster browsing experience than pagination. Visitors can glance at the posts as they appear one by one through scrolling. There’s no need to hit the page number and wait for the page to load before you see its content.
  5. Higher engagement- users tend to be more engaging if they can easily explore your content. Take Facebook and Twitter for example, it is so easy to navigate their one page long stream of updates that you’ll surely get lost track of time.

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