Monthly Archives: February 2012

A design pattern to avoid scroll stoppers

I was reading about a book on Amazon today when I came across this:

Snapz_pro_xscreensnapz001

Take a look at that last bullet.

The designers have greyed it out to indicate that there’s more content available. 

Now I know that the ‘Show More’ link should be sufficient, but frankly if that second bullet had been in the same black colour as the first one, I’m sure I would have missed it. After all, there are quite a few links on Amazon product pages and this one runs the risk of disappearing into the noise.

This is similar to the problem Jared Spool describes as ‘scroll stoppers': a design element (like a horizontal rule) that makes you think the page has loaded all of the content when in fact there’s more to be seen below the fold. 

I think that the Amazon designers have done a clever job in creating a design pattern that avoids this effect. I wonder if a browser vendor will implement the same kind of pattern at the bottom of a browser page to indicate that it has more content?

We have expectations about page layout

Quick question: If you wanted to search this web site for a product, where would you click?

Screenshot

Maybe you managed to stop yourself in time, realising that the field at the top right is in fact a newsletter sign up form, not search. But I’m sure that they must have many other users who type search requests in that field. The fact is, we have certain expectations about where certain items will be on a web page. As a designer it makes sense to cash in on those expectations rather than try to subvert them.