Should you use Infinite Scrolling or Pagination for your page content and which of these is better from the SEO perspective? This is the question that brings up a lot of confusion because several website designers are still not sure which method best suits their project. Remember, each method will have its strengths and weaknesses. Let’s understand them a bit more in detail:
Infinite scrolling allows the user to scroll up and down a page which keeps a massive amount of content and has no finish-line or end to it. The page simply keeps on refreshing and instead of finding the end to it, we find more and more information loading up.
Infinite Scrolling Has The Following Advantages
Higher User Engagement And Easy Content Discovery
Infinite scrolling has its perks when you choose it as your primary method of exploring data on your site. Your users are impatient and they don’t believe in clicking through a long list of pages to reach the area that interests them the most. So if you want them to stay longer on your web page and keep them engaged, pick infinite scrolling. Infinite scrolling, just like in their favorite social media sites, offers an ocean of information without having to wait for the pages to load. It is ideal for you when your user does not intend to search the entire page for anything specific. They would rather want to browse through a large amount of items to discover new things. Facebook news feed is a typical example of infinite scrolling.
Is Scrolling Better Than Clicking?
This is something that every computer user would relate to. When they are browsing through the Internet, they just find it much easier to scroll up and down smoothly than to click and tap on keys and buttons to reach the next level. Infinite scrolling enhances the user experience and now with the advent of the most advanced touch screens you can display continuous and lengthy content without breaking the flow. So if you are thinking about posting a tutorial or a long informational blog, scrolling provides better visibility and usability.
Mobile devices are smaller than our desktops and laptops and so the smaller their screen will be, the longer the scroll would have to be. As we are getting more and more dependent on mobile browsing, infinite scrolling is getting increasingly popular. Now with the numerous gesture controls that so many mobile devices offer, scrolling has become much more intuitive. This has resulted in a truly responsive and highly immersive experience, no matter what device they use.
Infinite Scrolling Has The Following Disadvantages
Infinite scrolling when not executed well will make for a poor impression and this is where page-loading speed is important. Remember, everything good about your app or website will be rendered useless if the end user experience gets marred by slow load times and poor performance. This can result in users leaving your website or un-installing your app and that means low conversion rates. As your user scrolls down further on a page, more content has to be loaded and that results in hampered page performance if it is not optimized for the same.
Lack Of Bookmarking And Location
Infinite scrolling does not let the user save their location in the form of a bookmark. This means that when a user at certain point wants to return to the same page or location within the feed later during the day or when they login another time, they find it impossible to do so. They lose all their progress and are forced to scroll down again to that same point and that too without the surety that the point will be there. This just leads to annoyance and confusion and the overall user experience suffers.
Scroll Bar Becomes Irrelevant
This is a very obvious drawback of infinite scrolling and it happens with every site that adopts this kind of navigation. This is because the scroll bars present there can’t reflect the exact amount of data that is available for scrolling. The user typically keeps on scrolling down in the hopes of reaching the bottom of the page but they find that the results on the page have doubled instead.
Pagination is a simple and contemporary user interface. It is the one that we find in most websites like WebMD or Amazon, and the like. It ditches the continuous pattern and instead divides your content into different pages. By scrolling to the bottom of the page you will see a row of numbers meant for easier navigation of the site or app.
Pagination Has The Following Advantages
Good Conversion Rate
Pagination is ideal for you if you are targeting a user who is searching for something in particular. If you have what they are looking for within your list of results, scanning and locating the item will take a lot less time and will also consume a lot less information, maintaining the speed of the page.
Gives The User A Sense Of Control
As compared to Infinite Scrolling which seems like an endless story, pagination gives you complete control of how you want to navigate across a website. With the former you’ll never get to the end but with the latter the user knows when and where the pages end so they are able to make a more informed decision.
A paginated interface makes it easy for the user to locate the item they are looking for and this also eliminates the need to know the exact page number. Pagination is ideal for e-commerce sites and apps.
Pagination Has The Following Disadvantages
Necessitates Extra Actions By The User
In order to get more information and to the next page, the user will have to find the next link. They will have to hover the mouse over it, and then click it and wait as the new page loads up.
The biggest problem faced by the user here is that most sites who use pagination show very limited content on a single page and that makes it even more tiresome for some users to find what they are looking for.
Your web designers need to weigh the pros and cons of both Infinite Scrolling and Pagination. The final choice will depend on what the content is and how it is being delivered.