Infinite scrolling can be an innovative feature that greatly improves an interface by exposing content and making performance more efficient. But it needs to be used correctly. – Yogev Ahuvia
Infinite scrolling automatically loads fresh content as users scroll toward the bottom of a webpage (think Twitter feeds and Google image searches). It can be a great way to let users interact with your content, but choosing to employ infinite scrolling on your website is a decision that should be made wisely, as the quote above suggests.
If you do decide that infinite scrolling is something that will enhance user experience (UX) on your website or blog, you’ll want to choose a theme that supports it. (Resources at the end of this post will help you determine whether or not to use infinite scrolling, and how best to use it to your advantage and the advantage of your readers.)
Plenty of themes support infinite scrolling. This list outlines 7 standouts that are WordPress friendly and completely free.
- ArgentArgent is a nice choice for highlighting portfolio projects. It supports a grid layout that provides an interactive UX for site visitors.
Gateway allows designers to set a large, attention-grabbing background image on their home page that stays fixed in place as users scroll down to the menu. The look is clean, modern, and useful for spotlighting a clear call-to-action.
Coherent is minimalist in appearance. The home page consists of one large, screen-filling image, a menu pop out on the top left corner, and a blog roll that your visitors can scroll through under the fold.
Ryu’s full-screen, long-scrolling capability captures readers’ attention and presents a focused-yet-fluid, enveloping experience.
Afterlight’s moody, consistent use of a uniform, dimmed, full-screen background gives a definite atmosphere to your website that’s likely to provoke an emotional reaction in your visitors.
Is infinite scrolling right for you and your blog? Learn the strengths and weaknesses of infinite scrolling, as thoroughly outlined by Yogev Ahuvia in his Smashing Magazine article.
My favorite takeaways:
- Don’t take away the user’s sense of control. “Load more” buttons are your friend.
- Infinite scrolling through images is more agreeable than infinite scrolling through everything. Be strategic with infinite scrolling implementation.
Want more? Here’s 279 examples of WordPress themes that support infinite scrolling.
Featured photo credit: uditha wickramanayaka (CC BY-NC 2.0).