Infinite Scrolling or Pagination? Many designers struggle deciding which one to use in their projects; not sure which method suits their content and final goal.
Facebook, Instagram, Dribbble and Google Images use Infinite Scrolling. Their main purpose is to keep users engaged with their feeds with no purpose on purchasing or discovering a specific content.
As for Ali Express, Amazon and Shutterstock, they prefer using the Pagination technique which makes it easier for users to find items they are looking for.
In this article, I will be listing pros and cons for each, so you can decide which one to use in your upcoming website and have a better user journey.
For the lazy readers out there, I have added a table comparison resuming the article – Keep scrolling (no pun intended ;)) to read the details
|Better UX on mobile||Pro||Cons|
|Sense of Control||Cons||Pro|
Infinite Scrolling is a web-design technique that allow users to keep on scrolling through a massive amount of content, as long as there is content the page keeps loading down.
1. Content Discovery:
For users to stay longer on your website and increase engagement, infinite scrolling is the right pick. It offers an efficient way to explore large amount of data without waiting for another page load.
2. Better user experience on mobile apps:
Whatever responsive device is being used, scrolling has become intuitive with its numerous gestures controls, offering a good user experience.
No matter how big your screen is, clicking on those little numbers defining your pages at the end of the result container will always be a pain; instead of clicking and risking your finger landing on the wrong page, all the user has to do is keep on scrolling. How easy is that?
3. Scrolling is better than clicking:
When users are browsing through the Internet, scrolling up and down is usually easier and faster than clicking or tapping on keys and buttons. Infinite scrolling strengthens user experience.
1. Page Loading Speed
Slow loading content and poor performance can result in users leaving your website. On average, users wait no more than 3 seconds. Page Loading speed is essential when using Infinite Scrolling. The faster the content load, the more users are engaged.
2. More development work to implement bookmarking
Unable to bookmark the location and coming back to it later, results in a confusing experience. Users loses the progress of scrolling to a certain page or location within the content where they are forced to scroll down again to the same point.
Technically speaking, fixing this is possible, but do you want to invest the numerous extra hours of development to achieve this?
3. Irrelevant Scroll Bar
Scroll bar in infinite scrolling doesn’t revolve around the actual sum of data accessible to browse. Users expect to get closer to the bottom and when they do, the data suddenly doubles and it all starts again.
4. No Footer
Footers allows users to dig more into the website and it can impact your search engine rankings. It provides useful links to other pages of the website that users might want to visit.
Adding a “Load More” button at the end of the results container can act as a workaround for this inconvenience. This way, additional results won’t show automatically when users reach the bottom, it will require an additional click of a button.
Pagination, a simple user interface, found mostly in e-commerce. It divides the content into separate pages.
1. Sense of Control
By seeing the total number of results, users will be able to estimate how much time it will take to find what they are looking for. It gives users the ability to act and take decisions. Sometimes, the number of results will also tell the user if what he searched for needs refining or not.
2. Item Location
Pagination makes it easier for users to locate items they are browsing for. Users sometimes remember the page number their item is in. In this case, the page number acts as a visual reminder for them.
3. Good Conversion
When a user is searching for a specific thing, scanning and locating the item will take less time while using pagination than infinite scrolling, and it will consume less data also.
1. More effort needed
It takes 3 actions for users to get to the next page in a pagination technique.
- Hover the mouse
- Click on the relevant page number
- Wait for the next page to load
2. Limited Content
In a pagination technique, users can see very limited content on a single page. Some users find it tiring to search for their item in 50 pages.
Depending on your website purpose and goal, you should use the corresponding technique.
In short, if you want users to stay engaged on your page, enjoy looking at your feed and spend more time then definitely use infinite loading technique.
If you are designing an e-commerce website and searching for more conversions, then the pagination technique is better.