Continuous scrolling sites – also known as infinite scrolling sites – seem to be the “in” thing for websites undergoing redesigns this year. And some pretty big brands are weighing in about how they are seeing massive benefits from continuous scrolling pages in an article from Sam Kirkland at Poynter.org
Many people got their first taste of continuous scrolling on sites like Facebook and Pinterest. Now we are seeing many content and news sites making the switch to a continuous scrolling website design, including Time.com, Forbes.com, NBCNews.com, Cosmopolitan.com and LATimes.com in an attempt to increase page views… and it appears to be working.
On Time.com, they made the decision to continuous scroll into top stories, instead of related stories which many websites do. And the strategy is paying off with a reduction in bounce rates, something many sites see in particular with traffic originating on social media sites.
Since its March redesign, Time.com’s bounce rate — the percentage of visitors who leave the site after viewing only one page — has declined by 15 percentage points, according to managing editor Edward Felsenthal. The percentage of desktop visitors going to another piece of content jumped 21 percentage points between February and May.
Time’s scrolling strategy includes a sidebar with top content, which allows the user to easily see what is coming up next, and allows readers to jump between stories that interest them.
NBC employs the related stories strategy with their continuous scrolling, and they are seeing a 20% increase in pages per visit compared to their old design.
Continuous scrolling websites are the new big thing, similarly to how responsive design was the “next big thing” a couple of years ago in response to increased mobile traffic. Will we see more sites move towards continuous scrolling designs? Very likely. Webmasters always like to take advantage of increasing page views per visit when possible. And it is great for Time.com and others to give others insight to how well this design type is working for bounce rate and page views per visit.
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