Infinite/endless scrolling is an unpagination method, where additional content instead of being placed on the next page, is attached to the bottom of the page. As the users approach the end of the content on the first page, newer content is loaded below as continuation to the first page, and this process goes on. Facebook and Pinterest use this kind of scrolling on their pages.
Infinite scrolling is slowly and gradually taking over the pagination method with more and more designers opting for it. Users are also finding this method friendlier and convenient because of which they don’t have to click on a set of pages for additional content and wait for the new page to load. But, to know whether infinite scrolling is better than pagination, let us look into some factors.
Finding previous content
For websites with pagination, if users want to go back to a previous page, they simply have to click the ‘back’ button and they will be right at the place they want to be. While, for websites with infinite scrolling, if users want to find previous content, they will have to scroll way back to find the piece of content, which gets frustrating. And even is they scroll back, they can’t be sure of finding what they have seen earlier in the same place. For example, if they have seen something some time back on Facebook, they might not be able to find the same piece of content again because of regular updating of the News Feed.
Page loading and performance
It is a well-known fact that a slow loading page will get users frustrated, which will lead them to navigate away and not consider returning to the site again. Thus, one of the most important elements for a successful website is its page loading speed. For a website which uses pagination, it has to work towards providing quick page loading for every single page. Whereas, for infinite scrolling, as soon as the user approaches the end of a page, the next page begins to load simultaneously; thus, saving the time of the users. So, if you have infinite scrolling, you think you have won it. But, with this advantage comes a drawback too. As you have excess amount of content on a single endless page, your page performance will slow down. Longer the page, more the work it has to do, which results in much more negative performance.
Additional information like contact, about, careers, help, FAQs and more are placed at the bottom of the page. If the users want to click on these links to get information about them, it gets impossible with infinite scrolling. As soon as the users think they have reached the point when they can get hold of the links in the footer, newer content starts loading, pushing the footer further down. This is repeated again and again until the entire data is revealed on the page. This makes it very annoying to catch up with the footer of websites with infinite scrolling.
Infinite scrolling is becoming popular today but, with the above mentioned issues, we can’t say if it will be successful in the long run. If you are planning to use infinite scrolling for your website, make sure to work on these issues and take steps to improve them before implementing this design technique. No doubt, it has its advantages but, the drawbacks need to be considered too. Whatever you decide, make sure to have a website that proves useful, helpful and satisfactory for your visitors. For the best web developers who can help you build your website and take care of every element to satisfy your users, you can approach Web Design Company in India, who has been working with a variety of different business types for local as well as international clients.