Design

Scrolling forever – Why are websites getting longer?

I first noticed it just over a year ago, when Pitchfork’s interview with Natasha Khan (Bat for Lashes) was all over my newsfeeds, with everyone from journalists to developers commenting: “This is the future of editorial on the internet.”

December 21, 2013

Since then, it seems like all the web designers in the world have undergone a pact to make these comments come true. Now, when I hear a website is getting a redesign, my first thought is: “but how scrolly will it be?” It’s a style that Hack&Craft deploys to great effect in our varied projects, so I thought it was a good time to ask: why?

Well mainly because it’s accessible and ultra user-friendly, no matter what device you’re using, as Hack&Craft’s Creative Director Jaka Krevelj explained: “The users know immediately what to do. They don’t have to learn anything new, even if it’s the first time they’ve ever seen it. With tablets and phones that have touch screens, the natural response is to scroll. These designs are also more inherently ‘responsive’ as the content collapses under itself making longer pages. Point and click interactions are harder to make responsive.”

Two of my frequently-clicked sites recently underwent “infiniscroll” transformations: 032c and i-D magazine (I’m a bit of a art/fashion magazine enthusiast).

giphy

These editorial websites, with their ever-renewing articles, as opposed to websites that have more static content, aren’t necessarily the most natural use of this feature (or to give it a more precise name “Parallax”, meaning that the layers move at different speeds, giving a 3-D effect).

“It’s possible to make it work for an editorial website, but it’s best for those that don’t have a lot of content or have very specific content,  like our designs for Bonaverde and Brad’s Wine,” said Jaka.

As for how the future of this style of website design will develop, it all depends on how browsers will enable new developments, and when they can catch up with apps that are native to the device you’re using:

“A native application on a device lets you do a lot more, because it’s programmed for what you’re using. At some point, though, web browsers will become as capable as the apps themselves.”

Jaka Krevelj
Creative Director, Hack&Craft

Jaka is responsible for look and feel, user interface and user experience of HnC's products. He leads the design process from the first sketches to the final artwork and oversees its implementation. His experience and understanding of mobile and web platforms enable him to predict what users intuitively expect from a product.