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Adding infinite scrolling

From: Applied Interaction Design

Video: Adding infinite scrolling

So, how can we fix the pagination problems that we had on the original Hansel and Petal website? We're over here now at the improved version of Hansel and Petal. And once again, we're on the Mixed Arrangements page, where we know there are at least 24 different bouquets. So, among the improvements that we've made up in the navigation and the control of the carousel, as we scroll down on the page, the first things you notice is the pagination is missing, so how am I going to get to my next set of twelve flowers? Does that mean it's a very long page? Well, no, I'm still showing this twelve at a time but now across the bottom of the page we have a really large clickable bar that says, show me twelve more. In fact when we click it, we simply extend the length of the page so I add in the next twelve bouquets.

Adding infinite scrolling

So, how can we fix the pagination problems that we had on the original Hansel and Petal website? We're over here now at the improved version of Hansel and Petal. And once again, we're on the Mixed Arrangements page, where we know there are at least 24 different bouquets. So, among the improvements that we've made up in the navigation and the control of the carousel, as we scroll down on the page, the first things you notice is the pagination is missing, so how am I going to get to my next set of twelve flowers? Does that mean it's a very long page? Well, no, I'm still showing this twelve at a time but now across the bottom of the page we have a really large clickable bar that says, show me twelve more. In fact when we click it, we simply extend the length of the page so I add in the next twelve bouquets.

I have a much better sense of place on this page, and a much better sense of depth, how many products are there now. So, I know which page I'm on. I know my first set of 12 bouquets. I see my second set of 12 bouquets, in fact, I can show a third set of 12 bouquets. And I've also added functionality now, where we could quickly take ourselves right back up to the top of the page. This is a technique called Infinite Scroll, it's when we extend the length of the page we add content to it, so the page gets longer and longer. Either as we scroll lower or as we tell the website to add more content. Now, there's two ways that we can do Infinite Scroll. We can do it continuously or we can do it segmented.

Continuous pages are automatically extended while I am scrolling. So, as I scroll lower on the page, It's been coded, so that it loads more content in from the server and I never really quite reach the bottom of the page. So, sites like Facebook, or Twitter, or Pinterest, they use this technique. The farther you scroll, the more content you see. You never have to tell it, I want you to load more. Segmented pages, on the other hand, they are extended on demand, and this is what we're doing on the Hansel and Petal site. I make sure that you've seen that set of 12 bouquets, I tell you there's more. We click on a link, and then I show them to you. And it's segmented in sets of 12.

There's a green bar across the page that says: you're in section one, you're in section two, you're in section three. So, I'm extending the length of the page only as I want to see more information. Now, another key thing to remember about Infinite Scroll, is that continuous pages, it's sometimes possible for you to never reach the footer. So, a page like Twitter or Pinterest may not actually have a footer, which means we can't put important information in the footer. Now, if you remember on this Hansel and Petal site, the footer actually does have some important information. It's got the social networking and social media.

It's got popular links, and it's got the sign up for the newsletter. So, Infinite Scroll in a continuous form may not have been a good solution for this website. We had to understand what did people expect, what did they want their experience to be and what information do they need? Remember we had to understand the context. So, we chose segmented Infinite Scroll for a good sense of place to have control over the display of content on the page. And to make sure the people still had access to all of the important content and features that are located in the footer.

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Applied Interaction Design

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David Hogue
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