Page 2 of 2

A better infinite scroll?

Google has a new blog post up with their recommendations for implementing infinite scrolling. Also be sure to check out the demo page.

Google’s tips and examples address SEO concerns with this feature, but don’t really address the possible user experience issues it introduces. As someone who is lucky enough to observe and work with actual users during usability testing, I’m not sure there is such a thing as a “good” infinite scrolling technique right now.

At least with this example the back button works as expected but I’m still not sure the positives outweigh the confusion infinite scrolling always seems to introduce. As with pretty much every UX issue, this of course depends depends on your audience and content. Like any other feature, get it in front of real users and test, test, test.

Mobile Users Don’t Do That

There are many common misconceptions about mobile web and app design. The most pervasive of these usually center around assumptions about where, when, and how people use mobile devices. Making any assumptions about what your visitors will or won’t do just because they’re on a mobile device will have you headed down the wrong path.

“Mobile users won’t want to do that, they’re ‘on the go’ and will be in a hurry or want a quick distraction.”

Mobile user experience expert Stephanie Rieger has written a great blog post busting some of those myths about the “typical” mobile user. People don’t just use their smartphones while on the go. They use them throughout their daily lives. They use them in quick bursts and for long stretches of engaged reading. They use them while distracted by the TV, traffic, the kids, or by nothing at all. Assuming your mobile visitors will always want to do less on your site just because of the device they’re using is a huge (and common) mistake.

Of course a good number of users will be looking to get in and back out accomplishing their task as quickly as possible. Your mobile experience (and your desktop site too by the way) should feature these common tasks and make them as easy as possible to use. But that doesn’t mean you should remove content or features that some of your best users are interested in.

As Stephanie puts it in her article, if a user is willing to suffer through a complex or broken feature on their tiny screen they’re either desperate or one of your power users. Two groups that have higher conversion rates than most. Don’t prevent them from doing what they want to do by removing the complicated feature from your mobile site, make it easier to accomplish.

content-choreograpny

Content Choreography – Content Strategy in a Responsive World

Trent Walton has written (and designed) a great (and beautiful) article on dealing with content in responsive web designs that adapt to the width of visitors’ browsers. Content Choreography is a good discussion of content organization, changing designs too much between various widths, and the workflow needed when creating responsive web sites. Definitely a must read for any designer or developer.