Infinite scrolling: why should you avoid it?

In spite of the fact that it is very much exploited today, infinite scrolling can be a problem for both user navigation and monetization.

In recent years the technique has become increasingly popular, so that today users come across daily sites that implement it: the infinite scrolling – or infinite scrolling – is almost everywhere.

Although some consider it a modern and effective solution, in reality it presents several problems, both in terms of usability and monetization of the site created. What are, therefore, the most obvious limits of infinite scrolling and why would it be better to avoid it?

This question has been answered by Hackernoon, with a long examination of the problems that infinite scrolling generates. Here are the most relevant ones.

Memory overload

The main problem with infinite scrolling – that is, how to display single page, ready to load new content as the user scrolls down – is the excessive exploitation of memory. As each new element loads the page becomes increasingly greedy for RAM, so much so that it also leads to slowdowns in the presence of more contemporary tabs, even on medium and good performance devices.

A problem not present in sites that opt for the separation into pages, because any content is loaded only when the user actually clicks on the internal link of his liking.

Return to the footer

Although it may seem at first glance an element of little importance, in reality the footer represents an area of the site particularly frequented by users. Since users have been following the rules of navigation for years, they head straight to this portion of the page to find information such as contacts, links to social networks, the privacy policy and much more.

This need is not met with the infinite scrolling: every time the user tries to approach the bottom of the page, new contents are automatically loaded, making the task impossible. This not only causes nervousness in the user himself, who will be faced with a poorly usable site, but will also reduce the confidence of the final consumer in the brand, product, service or company represented.

The common feeling in the face of such a hiccup, in fact, is that society is trying to make important information inaccessible or hidden.

Confusion

There is not much doubt among interface design experts: infinite scrolling generates confusion in users. Accustomed to the classic page navigation, with clear and explanatory menus, navigators feel completely disoriented to visit sites with infinite scrolling. They struggle to find the requested resource, for example, by repeatedly scrolling up or down the page in search of a visual aid that can direct them.

They wonder if they are using the site in the right way, if they have had proper access to the search function, even if there is a fault in their browser given the absence of a real end to the page visited.

It is important to underline that the more complex the navigation is perceived, the lower the duration time on the page. Therefore, there could be damages in terms of traffic, but also of monetization: it is almost impossible to obtain significant conversions on pages with a difficult design.

Complex analysis and monetization

Implementing the main analysis tools on a site with endless scrolling is particularly complex, sometimes even impossible. Google Analytics scripts, for example, are obviously designed for paid designs, as are many similar tools from other service providers.

The difficulty of collecting reliable statistics on your site, of course, makes the phase of monitoring extremely complex. Not only do you not have effectively certifiable data on your traffic, to attract investors, but it is also difficult to establish strategies for improvement to win a larger portion of users.


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Pubblicato il 8 November 2019

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