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Creative scrolling in websites: Types of design and best practices

I'm the owner and founder of PIT Designs. I love creating digital presence and creative digital solutions for our clients.

Posted 8 months ago on August 6th, 2022.

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Scrolling is a no-brainer process for people using different types of screens. It has become an important and unavoidable part of website designing, mainly in enhancing user experience. 

Creative use of scrolling may make it one of the most engaging and useful aspects of a website or app for many users. There are today many types of creative scrolling employed in websites and also best practices that matter in keeping website visitors engaged on the page. 

In this blog, let us explore creative scrolling while designing a website by understanding the types of scrolling designs and the best practices you need to focus on to improve your website scrolling. 

Types of scrolling

There are many types of scrolling to choose from for your websites. Choosing the type of scrolling depends mainly on the type of website, purpose, attributes, and functionality.

Long scrolling

Nowadays, the message is mostly communicated through the method of storytelling. For this, visuals are employed more than textual content, and it is usually employed for single-page websites than the ones with multiple pages. 

With more scrolling being done on mobile devices, long scrolling is best for social media pages and eCommerce websites. It helps consolidate all the content and the message on a single page, and you continue viewing the content as you scroll. It is also one of the most common and fastest forms of scrolling that help users to explore more and keep them engaged. 

Long scrolling provides users with a sense of control, which is incredibly crucial for ensuring that customers are happy with their experience. One of the examples of long scrolling is those in eCommerce websites like Amazon. 

There are many ways that long scrolling is used in websites. It can be used along with the infinite scrolling features or with a fixed scroll section. Sites with fixed long scrolling present content that would normally be broken up into many sections, all inside a single one.

Infinite scrolling

Nowadays, people are scrolling past different content on social media that seems to be endless. This is infinite scrolling, where the website visitors can scroll endlessly and discover new content as they scroll through. 

When there's a lot of content on a single page, like a multimedia gallery, but not enough space for numerous displays, infinite scrolling comes in handy. It establishes a pattern for social media sites, where visitors are constantly engaged with fresh content without having to take the initiative to click or wait. LinkedIn, Instagram, and other social media pages are good examples of pages with infinite scrolling.

Parallax scrolling 

Parallax is a method of web design in which several smoothly shifting graphic layers are used to simulate the illusion of depth. Although not a brand-new form of scrolling, it is a major development in the field of web design.

Parallax scrolling can be used with vertical, horizontal, or infinite scrolling. When employing this kind of scrolling, the pace of the foreground and background elements are clearly differentiated from one another. The use of parallax scrolling is not limited to any specific types of content. This scrolling technique can be used to improve the site's content without overwhelming the layout.

When paired with scroll-triggered animations, the parallax effect enables scrolling's greater imaginative potential. Websites dedicated to conveying stories would benefit from this design aesthetic since it would allow for a more engaging and in-depth exploration of the story being told.

Horizontal scrolling

Although most scrolling is done vertically, there has been a recent uptick in interest in horizontal scrolling. Horizontal scrolling refers to the method of navigating a website or app from right to left.

Websites' horizontal scrolling has become much more user-friendly since the advent of the touchscreen side-swipe.

Horizontal scrolling could become popular in the near future as a result of the growing popularity of data storytelling and the need for efficient visual material presentation. The story is much easier to follow when photographs are included, and they are laid out in a horizontal fashion rather than vertically.

Scrolling best practices

Now that you have understood different types of scrolling, here are a few best practices to keep in mind when considering scrolling for web design. 

Capture attention to the focus point 

Movement captures the attention of the human eye. By improving scrolling and selecting the appropriate style of scrolling for your website, you may direct the visitors' eyes to focus on where you want them to look by rearranging the order in which the various pieces of content appear.

Add content with motion 

While scrolling the page can activate motion, it can also stop it in its tracks. This allows the user to remain in the same part while more material scrolls by.

Add still content as well

Don't make scrolling effects that divert users' attention away from what they should be looking at on the screen because motion attracts the eye. In cases when the motion will divert attention away from the intended information, scrolling effects are best avoided.

Know where to stop

Not all long-form websites require you to scroll for infinite content. Even a lengthy scroll might be straightforward. Don't ramble on; just finish your story. If the user is not expected to proceed, don't make them. Keep in mind your goals for the website as you work on the scrolling layout.

If not required, leave it!

Finally, if a scrolling effect is unnecessary, leave it out. It's exciting to see what you can accomplish with various motions and effects in your designs. Don't bother including that rating scale or twist if there is no reason to include it.

Wrapping up

Everyone takes scrolling for granted until it stops working, at which point they become irritated. Scrolling is an often-overlooked yet crucial component of improving the user experience on any website.

People won't mind scrolling too much if they enjoy using it and there are no obstructions. Keep in mind the end goal of your users and strive to make their lives easier.

If you're designing a website, use the knowledge you got from this blog to determine which style of scrolling to use. Always be prepared for the future by understanding your options and staying current with technological developments.