Trending: Best Practices in Scrolling Types

February 9, 2015In User Interface Design3 Minutes

Standard scrolling is not a new trend, though the proper implementation of it’s features are a hotly contested debate. With sites developing more in depth content and the prevalence of parallax and animated sites as well as constant information stream applications, the approach of scrolling is evolving to site and content specifications.

Scrolling is an integral aspect of many programs and applications – allowing an easier flow of communication to the user, providing a more engaging experience. With 3 general types of scrolling – full page, parallax and infinite – the implementation has become almost essential for todays information processing.

Person on laptop scrolling

Full Page Scrolling
As the most standard approach, full page web scrolling has become very popular with the widespread use of mobile devices. Smaller screens force the user to almost constantly scroll to read all the content on the page. Users are very comfortable with scrolling because of this full page approach, allowing content ‘below the fold’. While the user has become very accustomed to scrolling to find the information needed, it’s important to note that content should not become superfluous. Ensuring that messaging remains concise and clear is key to conversion strategies as longer pages can exhaust users forcing them to move to a new site.

Infinite Scrolling
A popular and trending implementation, is infinite web scrolling. Much as the name implies the functionality is such that as a user scrolls through content, with additional content loaded automatically as the scrolling action occurs. This approach is used widely to display mass amounts of information from various sources such as multiple social media channels. This removes the waiting game of preloading information, allowing the user to move through a responsive experience no matter the device. While infinite scrolling is useful, there is truly no end point, and information can go on and on as long as the content is available.

Parallax Scrolling
Parallax, with relation to web scrolling, is gaining an immense popularity with the growth of parallax sites. Scrolling in this technique, is applied to background and foreground images being animated as a user scrolls. This implementation creates a depth of field that can bring an interface to life.

Stay tuned, as we’ll explore each scrolling type and user experience via Web Usability Talk later this week.

Designer's computer desk workstation setup.

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