Women in Tech Know Their Sh**: Infinite Scrolling
Infinite scrolling is an interactive behavior found on many websites these days. When a user scrolls through content, more content is loaded automatically. We interact with it each and every day, most often on social media. Infinite scrolling is an efficient way to browse a massive amount of information without having to click and wait for pages to reload.
At PowerToFly, we currently do not use infinite scrolling as much as we have in the past. We came to the conclusion that for some of our main search pages, it wasn’t the right solution. This doesn’t mean that it’s not a good solution in general, it just doesn’t work for the type of content we have at the moment, which is mostly job-search related content.
Whether or not to utilize infinite scrolling really depends on what your users do on your website and how they interact with the content. In our case, our users look for specific criteria that matches their search - they do not scroll just for the sake of scrolling. They know what they are looking for and they are focused on finding it.
Another important reason for us to stop using infinite scrolling was page performance. Speed is everything for good user experience. The more users scroll, the more content is loaded on the same page, and the result is that the page performance increasingly slows down. Also, we shouldn’t forget that some devices have limited resources and pages with a highvolume of images will make infinite scrolling difficult for users. But again, that’s not some kind of mantra for us and we make our decisions based on user need and specific pages.
Infinite Scroll: No Way!
Recommendations must be based on the specific websites, the type of content and how users behave on this particular platform. There are no strict rules around it. Every decision has to be made carefully and with the main purpose to make user experience smooth, fast and enjoyable. Designers and developers should work together to figure out what is best for their users. Still, there are some main pros and cons that have to be considered when making that decision:
Page Load Performance
This is the most important reason for me. As mentioned above, we have to be very careful when and how we use infinite scrolling. Having a lazy load on your page is going to make people leave and find faster platforms.
Lack of Control While Searching
It’s really nice to be able to just scroll through your newsfeed on Facebook to explore new and fresh content, but when you’re looking for a specific item, lack of control can be more than frustrating. With infinite scrolling, there generally is no way to keep your progress, or, for example, bookmark it and come back to it whenever you want. You abandon your progress when you leave the site.
Overwhelming and Misleading
Imagine that you have to find something and you scroll, scroll, scroll … at some point you see the scroll bar is almost at the bottom of the page and, full of hope, you think “Well, just a little more and I am almost done,” but suddenly, the results have just doubled. Which actually makes the scrollbar seem almost useless because it doesn’t show you the actual amount of information on the page. Thusly, you have no idea how much time you have to scroll until the end.
Footer is Unreachable
This is likely funny for some people, but it actually drives me nuts. Look, sometimes people just need to check for something on the footer (the footer is there for some reason) but it’s impossible to reach, because there is tons of info to be loaded. The most annoying thing (which is also related to the scrollbar issue mentioned above), is when I actually see the cherished footer, I see that the scrollbar is at the bottom and BOOM! All hope is gone - more content just loaded.
I may sound like a person who harbors infinite hate for infinite scrolling, don't I? Nah, that’s not the case. So let’s talk about good parts of it (if any… just kidding!)
Infinite Scroll: Yay!
Context is everything!
For some platforms, there is no better solution than infinite scrolling, such as social newsfeeds. The updates on kids and cats never end!
Discover New Content with Minimal Effort
- When I am talking on the phone and I want to keep my hands busy and my eyes happy, I just open Pinterest, Dribbble or my Muzly Chrome home page and pointlessly scroll, enjoying cool designs.
- When I have told my daughter 100 times, “Please put all your toys away,” and 100 times she replies, “What did you say? Oh… I have no hands, you must do it yourself!” - I frequently take my phone and pretend I don’t hear anything and I keep on scrolling and scrolling.
- When I want to distract my mind from work for just a little bit and then suddenly find myself scrolling with no reason on social media for half an hour. Oh wait, this is probably more for the cons part?
Increase Engagement with Attractive Content
Users stay on websites longer with engaging and constantly fresh new content when they don’t have to do something specific except scrolling. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Buzzfeed and the like are great examples.
Scrolling is Better for Mobile
Mobile users prefer to scroll instead of clicking when they are on a page with a large amount of data. The gestures needed to control web browsing are different on mobile and desktop. Scrolling is also easier on mobile when people have to use just one hand.
Whether or not infinite scrolling is right for your site is a complex, individualized decision. But using the pointers I’ve given above, hopefully you’ll be on the right path, regardless of which way you lean.
Nadya Drenska is a product and visual designer at PowerToFly. She has been with PowerToFly since day one. Nadya is also a proud mom of a six year old girl who was born prematurely and barely survived. In her free time, she works for improving care for preemies and their families in Bulgaria through Our Premature Children, an organization she co-founded.
It's been six years since Sarah Cooper graced us with her 10 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings. But how on earth can we appear smart in our new virtual world, in which for many of us, going to work is just sitting in one long series of probably-not-necessary Zoom meetings?
1. Dial in.<p>Dialing in rather than joining via the link instantly boosts your credibility. Who calls into Zoom meetings? People who are still busy and important enough to be leaving their houses! But you needn't actually be one of those people, or even more than a foot away from your computer to pull off this maneuver. (Remember, this article is called *seeming* smart, not being smart.)</p><p><strong></strong><em>Bonus: </em>If it's a large meeting at which attendance will be taken, the person running the meeting will inevitably ask, "Who's calling in from 443-322-2121?" That's when you raise your metaphorical hand, jump off mute, and say "[Your name] here. Really looking forward to hearing your perspective on [meeting topic]." And voila! You've stolen the meeting spotlight.</p>
2. Don't come on camera—ever.<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQ0ODU5OS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNjMwNjI3OX0.4fLyq2CvkZAJ7n_03esZepY37mOdyGdDdTEUYt5XEU0/img.png?width=980" id="bc7e6" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="fbbf21cc5d8c863b30654ae6993b04f5" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p><br></p><p>Much like the "dial in," this technique works because it makes you appear aloof. If <em>The Crown has </em>taught me anything, it's that the key to maintaining a sense of mystique and prestige is to keep people at arm's length—and if you absolutely <em>must</em> touch them, wear a glove.</p>
3. Only communicate via chat.<p>Once you've mastered the art of staying off camera, you can level up by communicating exclusively via the chat box. Don't come off mute at all, even if the speaker asks your opinion. You are the elusive chatter and you will not be forced into actually participating in said meeting.</p>
4. Ask to share your screen.<p>Being aloof is great, but it's all about balance. Sprinkling in some active participation will really shock and impress your colleagues if you catch them off guard, so save this technique for when you've strategically <em>not </em>participated in a string of meetings.</p><p>Spend a few minutes prior to the meeting prepping a few inspirational slides with words like "synergy," "optimization," and "redefining 'culture'", or spend a few minutes poking around in Google Analytics. </p><p>Then wait for the opportune moment to say, "Can I just share my screen for a moment? I have some really interesting data I'd like to share...." and BAM — brilliance established.</p>
5. Show off your Zoom-saviness.<p>Try saying, "You know you can mute people, right?" to the host when they beg whoever's got the lawn mower and crying baby in the background to put themselves on mute for the nth time.<br></p>
6. Create an alter ego.<p>This tactic requires commitment, but the pay off is certainly worth it. Join the Zoom meeting from your normal account + name, and then join it again on a second device from an alias. Have your alter-ego ask some probing or stat-based questions in the chat and have the answers ready ahead of time. It should work something like this:</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><strong>Your alter ego Charlene</strong><strong>:</strong> "Does anyone know what percentage conversion rates increased by in Q2?"</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><strong>Real you</strong>: *doesn't miss a beat* "It looks like Charlene has a question in the chat. That would be 36%."</p><div>Never mind that no one on your team knows who Charlene is or why she's at this meeting, they'll be too blown away by your brilliance to notice. (Bonus points if you use this strategy in conjunction with techniques 1, 2, 3 or 4!)</div>
7. Place an obscure object in your background that exudes intelligence.<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQ0ODYxOC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwNzk5Njg2Mn0.V9_-3Ij3v_QndseqlrXRt5Nn39EJ97-itjls5zzYPf8/img.png?width=980" id="a369d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="604a2f04b53c2e3bc801bfa5256f367b" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p><br></p><p>We're talking a telescope, or perhaps a hardcover copy of <em>War & Peace </em>(no one need know that its only purpose in your life is as a makeshift yoga block).</p><p>If you don't have any suitable props at your disposal, do not despair: download some screenshots of Sheldon's apartment from <em>Big Bang Theory </em>or the chalkboard in <em>Good Will Hunting </em>and use those as a virtual background.</p>
8. Ask "Is this really the best course of action given the current climate?"<p>Economic collapse, COVID, racism… No need to specify whether you're referring to one or all of the above; just sit back and watch your boss squirm amidst the ambiguity.</p><p>This strategy pairs very well with techniques 2 and 3. You can prep additional vague-but-probing questions ahead of time and pepper them into the chat box throughout the meeting:</p><ul><li>How will this scale?</li><li>Do we really have the bandwidth for this right now?</li><li>What's the value-add here?</li></ul>
9. Remind everyone that you have a paid Zoom account.<p>"Oh, it looks like we're getting the 40-minute warning. I have a paid account, do you want to switch to my room?" It's helpful, with just a touch of condescension. Everyone knows condescending people are smart. And everyone knows that people with paid Zoom accounts are super important.</p>
10. Tell everyone you have a hard stop.<p>When pressed for details, share your philosophy on "work-from-home" balance and how committed you are to getting up once an hour to walk to your refrigerator.</p>
11. Ask the screensharer/host to "pull something up" for everyone.<p>Ask the presenter to navigate to a screen that only you know how to navigate well. Laugh maniacally while they suffer from crippling performance anxiety. Let them struggle for as long as is tolerable before saying, "Oh you know what? I can just share my screen if you want. That would probably be easier." BAM you're the hero. Don't worry, no one will even pause to consider that you could have proposed this course of action from the start.</p>
12. Say Zoom fatigue as many times as possible.<p>If you're too tired to employ any of the other strategies, just say "I know everyone is experiencing a lot of Zoom fatigue, so we can keep this meeting short." Then hang up as quickly as possible. Meeting averted! </p><p>After all, there's no better way to demonstrate your intelligence in a virtual meeting than to demonstrate why it wasn't really necessary in the first place. </p>
I sat in front of my CEO to discuss several complaints of racism. I was new to my role as a Culture Director. I was nervous about his reaction to the complaints. But I also knew he strongly supported developing this new department; I knew that he would take the right steps. So I was shocked when I heard him say sheepishly, "I don't know, Noelle...all of this stuff about racism. I just don't see it. I don't even see color. I'm pretty much color blind."
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