Fab or Fad? What’s the Deal with Inifite Scroll Websites?

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 11.48.19 AM

AWWWARDS  recently announced their choices for Best Infinite Scroll Websites.  And boy are there some amazing sites!  Nominees came from all over the globe; from museums and government departments to independent event planners, the diversity truly showcases that brands across a multitude of industries can effectively utilize an engaging, dynamic website using infinite scroll.

Check out all the nominees, and click herehere and here for our favs!

Infinite scroll websites really blew up in popularity over the past year or so.  And just like so many trends (ahem…QR codes, Facebook pages, yes, even blogs….) it seems that everyone was trying to get on the infinite scroll bandwagon.  And, as in so many other instances, there were many who missed the mark or tried to utilize infinite scroll when it just wasn’t a good fit for their brand.  Infinite scroll is a really neat concept and certainly is appropriate for some, but for others, it can make things unnecessarily complex and difficult to navigate.

Let’s take two really big names for examples.

#awesome – Pinterest is arguably the leader in pioneering and bringing awareness to infinite scroll.  It works well for Pinterest, because the viewers are there to scroll through a large amount of data at once, with ease and speed, and without having to click to the next page every 25-90 images.

c/o Pinterest

c/o Pinterest

#fail – Facebook missed the mark when they implemented infinite scroll, and in fact there was a bit of a user storm in negative feedback when they launched this feature.  This came from users wanting to get to the footer of the page, but unable to click it fast enough because it kept disappearing as the infinite scroll feature kept loading more data!  Here is an example of a company missing the mark with the infinite scroll feature because they made certain regions of their site “unreachable” to their users.  Etsy had a similar experience when they tried to use infinite scroll, and got such negative feedback that they quickly reverted back to their original website layout.

Even if it’s the “latest, greatest trend,” be sure to consider your audience and usability carefully when thinking about implementing a new feature.  Does it make for an easier user experience, like with Pinterest?  Or does it cause frustration, like in the Facebook example?

For a detailed article of pros and cons of infinite scrolling, see this InspiredMag article.

And if you’re still left wondering whether or not the newest “hot features” are a good fit for your brand, make sure to consult an expert.  Places like Tribal Studio bring together a unique group of experts in interactive, branding, marketing and advertising, and web development in order to best consult and build the website that you’re looking for!

For interactive and website consultation/design, and all your other design and production needs, contact Jamie Judkins, Tribal Studio Account Manager @ 312-5376-0399 or jamiej@tribalstudiochicago.com

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