Infinite scrolling the latest trends in the field of web designing. As the name suggests, it is a model that offers a continuous stretch of scrolling without any visual thresholds. It offers your eyes a bungee jumping experience, thanks to its ever-expanding structure! Now the question arises - What is the use of infinite scrolling and is it really relevant for you? But before that, let us tell its detailed definition with the help of some examples.
What is infinite scrolling?
Infinite scrolling basically refers to the web design where the browsing model is based on scrolling rather than clicking on different page links. Unlike pagination where the content for each page is loaded only after the user has clicked on the link, the new content in infinite scrolling automatically loads as the user scrolls down to that particular portion. Thus, before the user arrives at that point the content is already present.
Should I go for infinite scrolling?
The efficacy of infinite scrolling can be understood by the fact that many digital giants including Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook have employed this website technique. There are multiple benefits offered by infinite scrolling but at the same time, there are some challenges too. Infinite scrolling actually covers the scroll bar and gives the audience a feeling of surfing through a continuous stretch of content that seems tempting, keeping them absorbed and invite them to keep exploring with no visual thresholds that can remind them of the time factor. However, the technique may not be the best for everyone.
Exploring may not (always!) be a good idea
It is very true that the infinite scrolling takes all the caps off the experience of exploring. However, you also need to keep in mind that this technique encourages the audience to “keep on exploring” thus stretching the feeling of “I want More!” That’s exactly the problem. In many cases, the people might keep on exploring without any milestone in sight that can prompt or hasten a definite action.
On the other hand, the relevant results with some visual milestones like scrolling bar tell a user how far they have come and thus remind them of the time factor. It triggers the audience to assess or reassess the data they have traversed so far and take the final decision like buying an item or register themselves for an event.
Lack of definite visual thresholds
Definite visual thresholds help the eyes to locate the item they are searching for and thus facilitate the search process. Quickly landing at the relevant items enhances user experience and can increase conversions.
Infinite scrolling lacks such thresholds and makes it difficult for the eyes to land at the desired item. Besides, each time he revisits your page he would need to traverse through the continuous stretch of the visual terrain to land at the desired data. So, in a sense, we can say that your audience still remains a “stranger” to your site- no matter how many times he visits your site he still needs to “fumble” for the locations to find the relevant data. Even such trifling things can have a long-lasting impact on the audience psychology.
Too much choice spoils the customers
Another limitation with infinite scrolling is that it gives a sense of “Too Much Choice!” to the audience. For example, an audience is looking to buy a pack of chocolates from your site but thanks to the delusional ambiance of infinite scrolling, he decides to explore more products and discovered that you sell caramels too. He doesn’t stop there and kept on exploring further.
Actually, it is not the variety of products that encourage him to explore further. He is enjoying the “visual surfing” and that might even interfere with his shopping procedure. Before he realizes he might just be playing with the awesome design and that can lessen the urgency to buy the pack of chocolate. Possibilities are that some other task might call his attention- a phone call, an important email alert or maybe someone calling him to attend to some pending task he left in the middle- and he forgets about buying the pack of chocolates altogether.
It affects website performance
Another limitation on the infinite scrolling is that the huge stretch of contents forcefully feeds too much on the memory of the poor browser. A single page loaded with a never-ending stretch of content is never a good idea. As a result, your web page performance can be hampered and that can adversely affect the reputation of the page making it less agreeable to the search engines.
Difficulty in browsing
That can annoy them and as a result, you might lose some of the important audience including B2B prospects like potential partners, affiliates who can spread your business and the international vendors who might want to check your privacy terms before starting business relation with your company.