Infinite Scrolling in Web Design – Best Practices

by Rohan Mathew
Infinite Scrolling in Web Design - Best Practices

The process of infinite scrolling or endless scrolling enables the users to scroll through a website with no end in sight. Here, new content is injected to the bottom as the users scroll down. It has become a trendy navigation pattern these days. From ecommerce to social media and news portal – many sites are using this pattern of web design. Looking for an example to clear the idea? Think about Facebook or Netflix or Google image search results – how you scroll down with more content loading one after another – that’s infinite scrolling for you!

The web design technique is popular these days when user experience is the first priority. Such a navigation pattern allows the users to find out content just by scrolling down and thus requires minimal action. However, designing such a website is not as easy as it sounds. Today, we have listed some of the best practices of infinite scrolling followed and recommended by the experts at a leading website design company. Let’s begin then.

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Infinite Scrolling in Web Design – Crucial Elements

  • Sticky Menu Navigation 

Infinite scrolling may make navigation problematic for the visitors. If the navigation bar vanishes when the users scroll down, they will need to scroll back up. This is extremely frustrating when they are far down and need to scroll all the way back to the top.

A sticky navigation menu gives a break from this. It keeps the navigation bar visible all the time.

Now, this may have a potential downside for mobile devices. Since mobile screens are smaller, the sticky navigation bar may occupy a large portion of the screen. In such cases, the navigation bar can be hidden as people scroll down and revealed when the users attempt to pull down a little to get back to the top. 

Take Facebook for example. Its top navigation bar is visible all the time while accessing from desktop/laptop. Again, on mobile devices, the Facebook navigation bar hides as people scroll down and reveals once people attempt to scroll up. 

  • Let Them Get Back to Where they Stopped 

Scroll position is a critical element in infinite scrolling. If the users follow a link on the website and then click the Back button, they want to return to the same point where they stopped. 

You can imagine how frustrating it would be if they land on the top of the page after hitting the Back button! 

It’s your responsibility to ensure that the users don’t lose their place on the original page. For instance, Flickr has implemented it already. The site can remember the users’ scroll position, so when they press the Back button, they return to the same position.

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  • Use a ‘Load More’ Button 

Reaching the footer is a challenge in infinite scrolling since various items continually load as the user scrolls towards the bottom o the page. If your site has a footer that contains important information for the users, you can use a ‘Load More’ button. 

It will allow the users to control the loading of additional elements. This is also known as manual infinite scrolling. 

Take Instagram for example. Once the users scroll down for some time, they can see the footer with all the options and a Load More button. They may click on the options on the footer or load more content as per their choice.  

  • Leverage Parallax Effect 

Infinite scrolling is ideal for storytelling. Pair the parallax effect with it to create an immersive browsing experience. 

In parallax scrolling, the background moves at a slower pace than the foreground, thus creating a 3D effect. If you want to create a subtle depth on your site and engage the users, implementing a parallax effect on your site is a good idea. 

  • Vertical Scroll Navigation Dots

Suppose, the content on your site is broken into multiple sections and arranged with a title, image, & description for enhanced readability. Now, people may not read the entire content and get an idea from the headline. 

Vertical scroll navigation dots allow the users to jump to the sections they want to without having to check the entire content or scroll continually.

You can check the site of Tumblr for a better understanding. Here, the content is broken into multiple blocks and distinguished by indicator dots on the left side of the screen. The users can click on the dots to jump to different sections. 

  • Leverage Bookmark Feature

Depending on the type of your website, you may allow the users to bookmark several items. Since the users find lots of results one after another, it may feel overwhelming after some time. They need to go back and forth to remember what they like the most. 

A simple bookmark can give a break from that. For instance, Pinterest uses a bookmarking tool to help users save creative ideas. 

  • Take Care of SEO 

Sometimes, the professionals of SEO services are apprehensive of infinite scrolling in web design as it may negatively impact their SEO efforts. You can easily avoid that by following Google recommendations. Here are a few things recommended by Google: 

  • Chunk the infinite scroll page content into the component pages which can be easily accessed when JavaScript is disabled. 
  • Maintain proper page loading time. 
  • Determine how much content to feature on the page. 
  • Make sure that the visitors can easily find the exact item they want without having to scroll for a long time before finding out the desired content. 
  • Don’t duplicate items. 

As you can understand, using infinite scrolling in web design demands advanced tech expertise. If you don’t want to take a risk, consider engaging professional website design services. The experts will create high-end websites with trendy infinite scrolling elements.  

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Wrapping Up 

Implemented following the best practices, infinite scrolling can offer a smooth user experience. We hope you have got some ideas on how to get started. Try these now.

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