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Web Fashions: Infinite Scrolling

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281487_8758Perhaps you’ve noticed a new design trend creeping into the websites you visit lately that requires a bit more scrolling than usual. This new trend is called infinite scrolling. Web designers are using infinite scrolling to improve the user interface by improving its efficiency. A web design with infinite scrolling exposes the content in a seemingly infinite page. As you can imagine, this can be both good and bad, depending upon how it is used.

Here are a few tips to help you successfully implement infinite scrolling into your web design:

Instant Access
Users want to be able to instantly access what they’re looking for on your website. Infinite scrolling can make instant access difficult. However, you can avoid frustrating your visitors by prioritizing your page content. Place the important content at the top of the page so your users can quickly and easily find the information they need.

User Control
Infinite scrolling can cut down on user control. In order to keep your users happy and in control you can include a fixed menu, site map or a smart progress indicator. These features will allow you to reap the benefits of this efficient design trend without frustrating visitors to your site.

Landmarks
Add visual cues to your content to help users who are scrolling through large sections of content or lists. Landmarks help users determine what sections they’ve already looked at while browsing your web page.

Hybrid
Instead of jumping feet first into the infinite scrolling trend, you can work with your web design professional to create a hybrid design. This design could include a sort of limited infinite scrolling by making use of a load more button or some form of pagination. These considerations will often enhance the user experience, while still allowing you to stay current with this popular web fashion.

Footer
Include a footer at the bottom of your website. Users expect to see a footer and this element can help users feel more comfortable and oriented while visiting your site. Fixed footers are generally the best approach with infinite scrolling.

Effects
Use visual effects judiciously when implementing infinite scrolling. Many sites slide in new content with various effects. While this can be effective, you need to be careful not to make it too gimmicky. If an effect will improve usability, then by all means, include it.

Ultimately the key to infinite scrolling in web design is to strike the right balance between design and usability. When using infinite scrolling, you need to help users find the content they are looking for and stay oriented as they browse your site’s content.

Have you experimented with infinite scrolling on your website?

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