Web Design and SEO Blog

Jun201921

The Pros and Cons of Infinite Scrolling

by Mira Brody in Design, UX

Infinite scrolling is a web design layout that allows a site to continuously load content as a user scrolls through the page, removing the need for a more complex page structure. Some popular examples of this include Reddit, Facebook and many ecommerce sites that have a lot of product to display. Infinite scrolling has seen a rise in popularity due to the experience it provides, but do the benefits come with a compromise? In this article we’ll be exploring the pros and cons of infinite scrolling.

What to Consider: motivations and content
Visitor motivation and amount of content are two factors that will help you determine if infinite scrolling would be a good option for you. Are your visitors going to browse for information, or look for something specific? While goal-oriented users will not benefit from infinite scrolling, it works great with discovery interfaces. This is when a user is navigating through a volume of content to find something they like, such as Pinterest, or engaging in a social feed, like Instagram.

Pros
Now that we’ve determined whether infinite scrolling will fill the needs of your audience and content, let’s go over the pros and cons. Infinite scrolling:
  • Keeps users engaged by removing the page function, so they don’t have to keep leaving the page to view more content — continuing to scroll is easier than clicking each time.
  • Provides a more efficient way of browsing large volumes of content.
  • Provides an easy and responsive experience for mobile browsers.
  • Leads users to discover content that they would have otherwise not been looking for.
  • Ease of use and navigation.

Cons
Like all good things, infinite scrolling isn’t for everyone. Here are a few drawbacks:
  • Makes finding specific content difficult.
  • Since there is no end to infinite scrolling, users will not have a sense of completion or be able to judge the amount of content present. When implemented incorrectly, this may cause frustration with your site.
  • Infinite scrolling can impact page load time, particularly if a user is on a poor internet connection. Slower load times can lead to losing users and dropping engagement.
  • Users cannot bookmark a specific point in the content stream to return to later. If the user leaves the page, they will lose what progress they've made scrolling through the content steam.
  • Browser scroll bars become irrelevant.
  • With infinite scrolling, there is no footer. Footers can be a great tool for your website containing navigation points, social links and contact info.
When to use Infinite Scrolling
Infinite scrolling is a great website feature that our team utilizes in many of our website projects. It is particularly useful for long products list on ecommerce sites, blog pages, list of data and other continuous streams of content. It can boost engagement and make the content on your site more user-friendly, when applied correctly. If you want to learn more about infinite scrolling, user experience or ways your site can increase engagement, feel free to reach out and we’d be happy to have conversation with you.