Infinite Scroll, Scroll, Scroll...
The infinite scroll is taking over web. Is it a powerful tool or just a digital fad?
The Infinite Scroll may sound like a new summer blockbuster that’s about to hit theaters; but it’s actually a useful and mesmerizing feature that many content-heavy sites are beginning to employ. And although its definition is still a little hazy to some, we see it as the following: A patterned design that continuously and asynchronously fetches content as a user scrolls, in order to create an endless loop of information, links and images.
Now that we have a firm grasp on what Infinite Scroll is, the question remains: Should I consider it for my site? In all honesty, it depends on the purpose of your site and how much content you have at your disposal or how much you plan to create going forward. This style of design doesn’t make much sense for a company that doesn’t regularly update their site, but it may hit a sweet spot for those active in blogging or social media. As is the case with most features though, it all depends on your situation. So, rather than lay out these endless number of scenarios, let’s take a close look at the good, the bad and the possible when it comes to the Infinite Scroll.
- You have a better chance at increasing engagement levels. Especially if your content is compelling.
- It’s almost as if the page has become an endless call-to-action.
- There are no instructions necessary.
- Users have already been conditioned to scroll in an infinite loop thanks to sites such as Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter.
- It enhances navigation through its clean and simple format.
- It’s fairly easy to implement. If utilized correctly, it can often reduce page load times.
- If done incorrectly, it can cause site performance issues, since the application needs to be constantly listening for scroll events.
- It’s very difficult to return to where you left off, if you ever link out to a different page.
- Memory issues could come into play, depending on the length of your scroll and format of the site.
- You can no longer use a footer on your page—a feature many have grown accustomed to.
- There is no way for the user to opt out of the feature.
- Analytics can be more difficult to implement, unless a custom solution is employed.
- If implemented well, you have a chance to enhance the users’ experience and boost overall interaction with your site.
- If implemented incorrectly, you could frustrate users and drive them away from ever coming back again.
When it comes down to it, the Infinite Scroll is all about content—and how you deliver it. That’s why it works well for companies who rely heavily on dynamic imagery and social engagement, but not so much for those who are less active on the web.
If you’ve ever considered adding this or other features to your website, it’s best to discuss the possibilities and opportunities with a professional digital agency. Their knowledge of back- and front-end development will help to ensure you’re getting the most out of your site and all its enhancements.