The Pros and Cons of Long Scrolling – Part 2
The explosion of mobile browsing in recent years has influenced web design in ways most people cannot begin to imagine. One of the web design trends that has gained a lot of traction as a result is long or infinite scrolling.
Long or infinite scrolling is an alternative to traditional page-to-page navigation. Most long scroll sites feature either one larger home page that links to other smaller pages or the entire site may exist on a single long page. Their popularity for mobile applications stems from the fact that it’s easier to scroll up and down as opposed to left and right when browsing on your phone.
In Part 1 of our post we covered everything that’s hot about long scrolling in this post we’ll look at what’s not.
Responsive web design is the approach that suggests that design and development should respond to the user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation. The practice consists of a mix of flexible grids and layouts, images and an intelligent use of CSS media queries. As the user switches from their laptop to mobile, the website should automatically switch to accommodate for resolution, image size and scripting abilities.
Not SEO Friendly: Okay this is a bit of a biggie. The reason long scroll sites aren’t SEO friendly is because when you reduce the numbers of pages, Google has less pages to index, which has an impact on the search engine results pages. It’s not a deal breaker though because there are ways you can overcome this but it will require extra effort.
Slower Site Speed: Most long scroll sites are content rich with a lot of video and images which as you probably know with most design slows things down a bit. Parallax scrolling in particular has been known really impact site speed which is why designers will often advise against it.
Time Consuming to Create: Designing a page-less website can be quite a painstaking task when it comes to conceptualising and actually creating the website. This is because as we mentioned in the pros there is a lot of visually creative elements that can go into it, which means a lot of back and forth collaboration with the client.
Awkward Navigation: Okay so the thing that makes a long scrolling website so awesome is also the thing that can be a bit of a pain especially if you want to go back to something. Unlike page-to-page websites many long scroll sites do not have the option for you to jump back to the previous “page”. This is something that can be overcome with a stagnant top or side navigation bar, known as “sticky navigation.”