Infinite Scrolling on the Web: A Gesture to Get You Back on Top! (Extensions)
Downhill is easy, but what about the return trip back up?
Going down the Web 2.0 infinite web page scrolling rabbit hole
One of the great things about Web 2.0 is the constant stretching of boundaries. One such boundary in the last few years that has become so prevalent is the length of a web page. I remember a time when scrolling down a long web page was almost a "no-no" or an unwritten rule of bad page design. You just didn't want visitors to a web page or site to scroll more than say -- about two -- maybe three flicks of their mouse wheel.
Flash-forward to today... that philosophy has certainly changed. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr and other high profile social media and media sites have blown the doors off that unwritten rule and are now being emulated by more and more sites across the web. This trend toward "infinite scrolling" is everywhere now.
Infinite scrolling/pagination is great on the one hand (and I'm sure you've experienced this somewhere by now) as you reach the "supposed bottom" of the page you may see a quick animation and -- "poof" -- more content is added without having to go to a new page. If you keep scrolling and you reach the end of the newly loaded content -- "poof" -- more content! How convenient, right?
Well, yes and no. When this is done correctly, somewhere (usually in the left or right margin of the page and occasionally at the top) there may be a link, upward arrow, or a button of some sort that indicates it will send you all the way back to the top of the page. Like I said, when this is done correctly. What about all those sites that utilize infinite scrolling but don't add this handy little extra after you have "infinitely scrolled for five minutes" on the same web page? Perhaps there is a reason you don't want to just reload the page and lose the content you have now loaded (which, of course, would put you back at the beginning with the initial set of content).
One option that is often overlooked is pressing the "Page Up" or "Home" keys on the keyboard -- fair enough -- but let's face it, if you have one hand on the mouse or are using a touch-pad, your hands aren't poised necessarily to break stride to do that.
Curb repetitive stress injuries, every stroke counts
I also know a few people who are heavy computer users to the point where they may have health concerns with their hands and wrists that revolve around repetitive motion (which is not uncommon for long-time typists, computer-users and the like). So scrolling all that way and then having to scroll all the way back up is not ideal.
Luckily, there is a solution that you can add to your browser in the form of an extension that will overlay a button right on the screen so that you can just move your mouse to it, click it and achieve the scroll-to-top effect.
Scroll to Top Button for Google Chrome (and Safari)
- Scroll To Top Button allows you to quickly jump back to the top of any page! Once you scroll far enough down on a page, the button will appear in the top right corner. Click it, and you will be taken to the very top in no time!
I like this extension, because of its simplicity. There are other extensions like this for Chrome and Safari, but this is the one I prefer.
Scroll To Top for Firefox (Chrome, Safari, Opera)
For Firefox a great choice is Scroll to Top
- Scroll To Top tries to minimize this effort by providing an intuitive icon at the bottom-right corner of each page so that with one click you will be at the top of the page with beautiful animation. No more searching for Home key on your keyboard and no more dragging of the scroll bar. It will be just fun and ergonomic to use it.
If you follow the link above you will also see additional links for this extension/add-on suitable for Chrome, Safari and Opera!
Contextual menu on right scrollbar for Internet Explorer
I couldn't find a suitable extension or add-on for Internet Explorer.
But then again, recent versions of Internet Explorer now have a contextual menu built-in that is displayed if you right-click on the right scrollbar. Which effectively gives you the option to choose "Top" as an option (among other choices depending on your need).
One final gesture...
I offer you these simple tools with the hope that you might add these suggestions, extensions, add-ons and knowledge to your web 2.0 infinite-scrolling browsing arsenal. Every flick, click and swipe counts!