A discussion among UX nerds about the addictive properties of Infinite Scroll. I had completely forgotten that there was a time before Infinite Scroll!
I noticed Infinite Scroll for the first time in 2015. It was novel and a bit disorienting, but I liked it, and immediately realized its addictive kick.
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Websites try all sorts of methods to keep you captive. Most don’t work well. Metro.co.uk has figured out a subtle but effective trick that works BEAUTIFULLY … at least for me.
In the standard arrangement of main pages and articles, you are enticed to click into an article by its sexy or annoying or tantalizing title. You read the article or not, then you hit the back arrow or the backspace key to fall back to the main page.
Metro allows you to function that way, but invites a different method. After you reach the bottom of the article, you see more interesting stuff already scrolling up from the bottom. You keep scrolling until you bump into another interesting title. You click on this title and read or not. When you reach the bottom of this article, you see more interesting stuff already scrolling up from the bottom. …. Scroll forever.
It’s a bottomless cup of interesting-looking stuff. You never have to put down the cup and refill. You don’t get a chance to say “Whoa! Do I really need this?” You just keep drinking. The stuff coming up from the bottom includes some articles you’ve already handled, plus more that you haven’t seen.
Remarkably clever! Of course there’s more to it than web coding; a lot of the stuff is genuinely interesting, and presented in a just-long-enough format to keep you wanting more.