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Should auto-scrolling to the top (or elsewhere in the page) be done via animation, or just as a fixed anchor-link 'jump to content' option?

Currently I'm using jQuery UI to animate the scrolling to different parts of the page when a user clicks on a link. There are different standard easings available, but I'm having a hard time finding an appropriate one for scrolling. There is also the possibility that using any form of animation is not even appropriate.

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The question title was changed to be more technical in nature. I'm reverting it back as the question is specifically asking for a particular type of animation from a UX perspective. I retract my 'close' vote! ;) – DA01 Oct 11 '11 at 22:58
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I would recommend any of the easeOut* animation(except elastic).. it all looks good with the approach of fast leaving and smooth arriving.

Generally don't hard-use these stuff,just make your website as simple as possible.

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simple is good (and perhaps scrolling isn't even necessary in this situation) but often the impression of 'simple' is actually incredibly complex. – DA01 Oct 11 '11 at 23:01

I can't think of any scenario where animating scrolling would not be desirable. As long as the animation is fast and smooth, it should go a long way to give the user a feeling of the spatial relationship between what action they took (clicking on some link or button) and what the effect is (scrolling to some other content on the page).

As far as the animation timing curve, it probably should be pretty standard, ideally with some easing (in, out, or both). Just play with it until it feels both fast and natural. Again, an ease in-out timing curve is pretty typical in this case.

As a general rule of thumb, I prefer to animate nearly everything that can be animated, as long as it's subtle, smooth, and above all, quick. But that's more of an opinion than a hard rule. :)

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