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.
A Look At The Challenges They've Faced & How Their Companies Support Them
We know that the ratio of women to men in software engineering is overwhelmingly low. Scroll through just about any company's roster on Linkedin and see for yourself. It's depressing.
If you're not in the mood to engage in that little experiment, just check out this PwC study that found that only 15% of employees in STEM roles in the U.K. are women, and that women hold a mere 5% of leadership roles in the tech sector.
However, we also know that diversity is the top priority for 78% of talent leaders. This is good news for us, because our goal at PowerToFly is to close these gender gaps as quickly as possible - and the more companies that get on board, the faster we can do that.
We partner with companies that are not only committed to diversity and inclusion, but to fostering a sense of belonging for underrepresented candidates once they accept job offers.
In the meantime, we know that the struggle for many women and other minorities in tech is still real, and that being a woman in this male-dominated industry is no cake walk. That's why we invited women engineers at some of our partner companies to share their experiences in their own words.
They shared some of the biggest challenges they've faced as women in tech and how they overcame them, as well as why they feel supported and enjoy working at their current companies.
We hope reading about these experiences will make other women in software engineering realize they're not alone in the challenges they're facing, and that there are lots of companies making strides to better support women in tech. We also hope that reading this will inspire more companies to follow suit, especially given that women leave the tech industry at twice the rate of men.
Hats off to these 7 women and to the companies that support their work:
What's the coolest thing Promptworks does to support women engineers?
"One of my favorite things about Promptworks is how all the female engineers support each other. Having an amazing group of colleagues to lean on, vent to, and seek advice from has been vital to me. As soon as I joined the engineering team, I felt immediately part of this amazing family of women who also have my back."
—M.K., Software Engineer at Promptworks
Want to join Promptworks' team of Women Engineers?
- Senior React Native Engineer
- Senior Software Engineer
- Contract Software Engineer
- Software Engineer
- And more
More about PromptWorks:
Promptworks builds custom software for companies by creating amazing technologies that help achieve their vision.
Monthly work-from-home flexibility, Collegial atmosphere with family-style lunch twice a week on us, ergonomic work stations including seated & standing pair programming stations, 100% company-paid medical, dental, and vision insurance, 401(k) plan with company matching and more!
Why did you choose to work at Yelp?
"The best thing about Yelp is the culture. I had an amazing interview process which reflected how much Yelp values their employees. Once I got through, I received a welcome card from my team and AWE group and I still feel very loved at Yelp. Also, I love the people! They are very smart and innovative and Yelp gives us all the freedom to vent out our creativity."
—Supriya, Backend Engineer at Yelp.
Want to join Yelp's team of Women Engineers?
More about Yelp:
Yelp engineering culture is driven by our values: we're a cooperative team that values individual authenticity and encourages "unboring" solutions to problems.
Medical, dental, and vision insurance - 100% covered for Yelp employees, 401k program with company match, parental program: Bright Horizons, mother's rooms, paid baby bonding leave, well being and stress management resources, and more!
What's the biggest challenge you've faced at Ubiquity6 and how did you overcome it?
"One of the personal challenges I've dealt with at Ubiquity6 is imposter syndrome, which was definitely amplified by working with so many incredible engineers. Thankfully, my team is really supportive and I have been able to take ownership over some important projects. The combination of getting great constructive feedback while framing my mindset towards improvement has really helped build my confidence as an engineer."
—Robyn, Software Engineer at Ubiquity6
Want to join Ubiquity6's team of Women Engineers?
More about Ubiquity6:
Ubiquity6 works with the design, infrastructure, and game engine teams to help guide the user through complex workflows involving spatial mapping, dynamic code loading, and game engine orchestration. Their challenge is to tie together all the different pieces of technology in a way that feels seamless to the end user.
Generous PTO, flexible work hours, work-from-home, remote positions, medical and dental benefits including family coverage, and more!
What's the coolest thing Verisign does to support women engineers?
"Verisign has been extremely warm and welcoming. Your opinions and ideas are heard irrespective your gender and position in the company. Verisign has a Women in Technology group which organizes monthly workshops and seminars, encouraging women to participate and demonstrate their skills. It is attended by the entire company and not just women. The company is full of empowering women who constantly motivate you to break the stereotypes and fulfill your passion."
—Shreyashi, Software Engineer at Verisign
Want to join Verisign's team of Women Engineers?
- Senior Engineer - Information Security Compliance
- Mid-level Software Engineer
- Sr. Infrastructure Software Engineer
- And more!
More about Verisign:
Verisign, a leader in domain names and internet infrastructure, enables internet navigation for many of the world's most recognized domain names.
Medical, dental, vision and prescription plans, traditional and Roth 401(k) with company match, basic life insurance, optional life insurance for employee, spouse or child(ren), home and auto insurance and more!
What’s one of the most impactful things One Medical does for women engineers?
"I recently attended a fireside chat with Sheryl Sandberg who pointed out that while there are increasing programs aimed at bringing women into technical roles, there aren't as many women being promoted. One of the most impactful things I see that One Medical does is actually hire and promote female engineers into both senior engineering roles and engineering management roles. Not only are they being promoted, but there is noticeable support before, during, and after the promotion. Growth and learning is a big part of the culture here, and I am excited to take part in such a fulfilling company."
—Vanessa, Data Engineer at One Medical
Want to join One Medical's team of Women Engineers?
- Senior Software Engineer (Fullstack)
- Principal Software Engineer (Fullstack)
- Staff Software Engineer (Fullstack)
- And more!
More about One Medical:
One Medical builds amazing end-to-end solutions to connect patients and our care team in new and innovative ways.highly collaborative environment, not only will you be partnering with designers and product managers, you'll also be sitting shoulder to shoulder with the doctors and nurses who deliver care daily to One Medical patients.
Top-notch dental, vision, and health insurance, paid parental leave, PTO, paid holidays, and sabbatical at 5 and 10 years
401K Match, One Medical membership for you and your family and more!
What's the coolest thing Fair does to support women engineers?
"Gender equity is a big thing at Fair. I once received a Fair-branded jacket that didn't quite fit right in the sleeves and waist. I tried to return it, but my boss wouldn't hear of it, citing Susan Fowler's leather jacket incident. Fair immediately offered to cover the jacket alteration costs for myself and other women in the company. I'm grateful to work at a place that values and includes its female employees as much as Fair does."
—Michelle, Lead Software Engineer at Fair.
Want to join Fair's team of Women Engineers?
- Senior Software Engineer - Search & Discovery Team
- Senior Platform Engineer
- Support Engineer
- And more!
More about Fair:
Fair is looking for highly motivated engineers interested in delivering the next level of innovation to product search and discovery at Fair. You'll be designing and implementing new search features and the systems behind them, including the integration of natural language processing, heuristics, and machine learning systems used to generate and rank search results. You'll work with microservices on AWS, multiple languages, and a great engineering team with a fun culture.
Equity incentives, 100% coverage of medical, vision and dental premiums for employees and their families, 100% paid parental leave for 4 months, 401(k) retirement plans and free lunch 5 days a week for every employee and more!
In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you build yourself back up?
"Coming from coding school, my background was not in computer science nor did I graduate from college with a degree in engineering, so it has always been a bit of a struggle to build myself up. I remind myself that everyone is going through a learning process. I have spoken to my mentor about having imposter syndrome when I first started working at Yelp. He let me know that even he has moments of imposter syndrome. It is easier to relate to somebody when you hear that they are going through the same struggles as you and it's a good reminder that nobody is here to judge you. I think it's great that even when you mess up you don't have to be worried about getting fired. Yelp has a very supportive environment. In times of adversity I try to calm myself down and realize that everyone makes mistakes and tries to learn from them to be better."
—Julie, Full Stack Engineer at Yelp.
Scroll up or click here to learn more about Yelp & how to join their team.
Want to see more great roles at companies committed to recruiting more women in software engineering? Check out our job board!
A Look at Fidelity's Approach to Women's Career Growth and Engagement
Whenever I reflect on my experience as one of the relatively few women in the gaming industry, I think of a student I met at a Game Writers' Roundtable the last time I went to the Game Developers Conference (GDC).
"The floggings will continue until morale improves." We've all heard the saying, a tongue-in-cheek way of criticizing workplaces that are neither healthy nor productive — and no employer or employee wants to be that workplace. Create a healthier, more productive work environment with these tips.