August 19, 2010

Infinite Web Pages

I realize that the new black for web sites is to have the infinite scrolling page, but I'm kind of annoyed by it. What is the infinite page? Look at Facebook, or Google Images. If you scroll down to the bottom the page will automatically request more material and append it to the bottom of the page. Thus adding to scrollbar, and you can scroll on and on for as long as you like. But the effect is kind of herky-jerky and annoying. It's particularly annoying with Amazon's page where it only loads segments if you scroll down to them.

I suppose it is interesting to note that the big companies finally believe that people will scroll the page. The conventional logic is that you keep all of your important content at the top of the page or "above the fold" as they say. That's probably still important but far less so as we get a younger reading audience. To people who grew up with computers the idea of the window showing just a section of a longer page, where you can move the window using the scrollbar, is intuitive. For older folks, who didn't grow up with computers, or GUI operating systems, it's known to be counter-intuitive. Thus the import above-the-fold/below-the-fold distinction.

Posted by jherr at August 19, 2010 1:13 PM
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