Scams on web page designs

I just noticed that Quora is somewhat hard to navigate (lots of scrolling, losing my place, scrolling back) because literally two-thirds of what’s visible is blank (the right third of the screen is literally blank and the left third is full of idiotic links to sub-pages I never visit). only the middle third has content.

Is this (and other such sites) designed to make me scroll more? Is this a common trick of web designers for some other reason? PITA.

I’m not sure about Quora specifically, but getting users to scroll more, or even more commonly, click through several pages in a slideshow-style format is certainly a trick that’s done to make sites more ‘sticky’ and feed people as many ads as possible.

I shamefully admit that I’ve occasionally bit on those clickbait-style ads out of boredom or curiosity. You know-- the ones that have headlines that start out “You’ll never believe…” or “The mystery of (thing), finally revealed!”.

They usually consist of the slideshow-style format, with a center panel consisting of a teeny amount of actual information doled out in the center, like a couple sentences at a time, surrounded by ads on all sides. There’s often a fake “next” button that’s actually an ad, and you have to scroll down to get to the real “next” button. And then there’s often a trick where you go to click the real “next” button, and an ad suddenly loads belatedly, pushing the ‘next’ button down, so you click on the ad by mistake. It’s a way to be able to tell the advertiser “look how many clicks your ad is getting on our site!”. I wonder how many people get tricked into visiting the ad site that way, then just shrug and think “well, as long as I’m here, I may as well buy something.” Probably just enough to keep the deceptive practice going, I suppose.

Yes Quora is made to scroll. It’s got a “mobile first” design so that when viewed in a phone browser or on a tablet, it has the same general layout with little wasted space and the posts are big enough to see clearly.

It’s not useful to design sites with a lot of content to stretch across the full screen of a desktop monitor because it is hard to then collapse all of that same content down to the size of a phone. And they’ve decided that their audience is more likely to be scrolling on a phone, not a desktop.

Some sites definitely do stretch all the way out but you’ll notice those are usually informational sites for businesses and are low on content. They also typically have zero user-created content.

Both Reddit and this very site also have big empty gutters on either side of the content, and work similarly to Quora (user-submitted content).

Quora in itself is also just a goofy site. They seem to be taking over Google search results for me yet I am never able to find a good answer there. It seems they obscure answers unless you sign up.

Lots of ridiculous trolling. Like the old Robert Klein routine about his dentist filling his mouth up with cotton and equipment so he can’t say a word and then asking “Why won’t they give President Nixon a break?” Just stupid, self-serving questions designed to get people mad so they “answer” the “question”–they even have idiotic 2nd grade homework questions like “Who discovered Amrica in 1942?” so people correct their spelling and tell them it’s 1492, not 1942.

Waste of time for the most part, but I was curious about the wasted space. Never thougt “fitting on phones” would be it, so thanks.