In the last few years, I’ve noticed alot of websites using horizontal scrolling for their navigation. From a design perspective, horizontal scrolling is a type of navigation that is still not widely used. But, it seems to emerging (or-re-emerging) on some websites now. In some respects, horizontal scrolling may actually offer a better alternative to standard vertical navigation.
From a usability perspective, horizontal scrolling is generally considered a poor design choice (sources: Usability.gov, Jakob Nielsen). In usability circles, there is a funny story about how Jakob Nielsen demonstrated his thoughts on horizontal scrolling by nodding his head up and down saying, “vertical scrolling, yes”, then, shaking his head left and right saying, “horizontal scrolling, no”. A great way to make your point. As a usability professional, we need to re-think this “defacto standard”.
Here are some cool examples of where horizontal scrolling with some thoughts on why I think it works. Enjoy!
Portfolio Sites Use Horizontal Scrolling
|So, you want to showcase your work in a cool and interesting way. These sites are using horizontal scrolling to draw attention to their portfolios.|
|The Horizontal Way|
Videos Would Be Hard to Watch Without Horizontal Scrolling
Horizontal scrolling is simply how we navigate when we watch videos. Consider how awkward vertical scrolling would be on You Tube. Watch Stephen Tyler mess up the National Anthem.
You can use the horizontal scrollbar to fast forward and rewind. At a glance, you know the location of the video to do a video clip, isolate something, edit, and so on. The horizontal scrolling is just how we watch videos.
Sites That Use Horizontal Scrolling to Mimic Reading
|For most cultures, the predominant way to read horizontally–left to right, right to left. Sites using horizontal to mimic reading can provide an interesting contrast to sites that use vertical scrolling or pagination. Two examples here: 1) mimicking a book and, 2) mimicking a menu.|
Using Horizontal Scrolling for Fun & Games
|Sometimes, you just want to have a little fun. Sites are starting to play with horizontal navigation to showw off their brand as fun and engaging.|
|Head to Heart|