Category Archives: Uncategorized

A design pattern to avoid scroll stoppers

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


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?

The Post Office shows how not to do it

I ordered some foreign currency from the Post Office today. I was a bit disappointed by needing to opt-in to opt-out of spam:


I was then disappointed some more when I was asked to press the ‘Purchase Order’ button, but my only choices were ‘Buy Now’ and ‘Cancel Order’. I know it’s not hard to work out the right choice, but this is totally unacceptable in a user interface.

Incidentally, after clicking on the Buy Now button I went through a ‘Verified By Visa’ section. Maybe I entered my password wrongly, but when I was returned to the Post Office screen I was told that the transaction had failed and I needed to start again. 

Which of these two options do you think is the correct one?

(a) It had remembered all my address details so I didn’t need to enter them again.
(b) I had to type it all again.

Based on the site’s previous performance, you don’t really need me to tell you the answer, do you?