Infinite scrolling has become a design trend for many websites and social networks. But can it be used effectively for your image galleries? Absolutely. Here’s a rundown of what Infinite Scrolling is, and how you can use it.
Infinite Scrolling Basics
This is a commonly used feature, and one you’re probably quite familiar with. If you’ve ever been on Facebook or Twitter, or if you’ve ever done a Google Image search, you’ve seen Infinite Scrolling in action.
With Infinite Scrolling, also referred to as endless scrolling, items are only loaded once the user scrolls down to them. Content is loaded continuously as you get to it. This removes the need for pagination or for the user to click to the next page.
There are plenty of advantages to Infinite Scrolling. For one thing, it’s an efficient way to browse data or images. This is especially true for image-heavy sites, as users won’t need to wait for the whole page or gallery to be preloaded. It also works well on mobile, where scrolling is the norm. This design technique has the added benefit of engaging users for longer, as they continue to scroll down through the data or images.
But Infinite Scrolling has some potential disadvantages as well. It can be a little overwhelming if you’re searching for something specific. The seemingly never-ending stream of data can be intimidating and users may leave before they’ve even started. Plus, if you have a lot of large images, your final page size (once all the images have been loaded) may be quite cumbersome and slow. Another pitfall is that when you click on an item you navigate away from the page. But when you go back, you are returned to the beginning of the page rather than where you left off (this is known as Pogosticking).
But there are easy solutions to these potential problems.
Effective Use of Infinite Scrolling
Using Infinite Scroll for an entire blog or website may not always work, but there’s no reason you can’t use this design feature for elements on your site. Extensive photo galleries are the ideal place to use it. But remember to keep your thumbnails a reasonable size and optimize your images for the web for better page load speeds.
Make your Infinite Scrolling galleries as user-friendly as possible. Consider adding Filtering with Media tags and categories, to help narrow down a search. Don’t save the best for last – after all, users may never get there. Rather include your better images upfront, which can help to create a better user experience.
Avoid Pogosticking by using a gallery that doesn’t navigate away from the original page. FooGallery opens images in a lightbox, so users don’t lose their position and can continue from where they left off.
If you decide Infinite Scrolling won’t work for your gallery, then there are alternatives. You can use Pagination for your gallery, where users have to click through to the next page to see more images. Or you can use a ‘Load More’ button – if users want to see more images, they click on this.
FooGallery PRO offers Pagination, Load More and Infinite Scrolling. Take a look at the pagination demo to see which one works best for you. If you want to enable Infinite Scroll (or one of the other Paging options on FooGallery PRO, simply go to the Paging settings.
Once you’ve selected Infinite Scroll you be able to adjust the page size. This is the number of images that will load on your page at a time.
Try FooGallery for yourself now. With features like Infinite Scroll and the Pagination options, you’ll be able to tailor your image galleries to suit your individual needs.