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I've noticed this trend on several popular websites (linkedin, Google+) and personally really dislike it. I'm wondering what other people's experiences are.

Basically, there's a navbar on the top of the page, but when you scroll down, the bar disappears. When you scroll up, it reappears.

Is this a good idea to implement? Because I personally hate this 'feature'.

  • I don't see that on either of the example sites. Are you looking at it on a particular device? We can't say if it's a good idea or not, but I can see the reasoning: these types of sites have infinite scroll. If you're scrolling back upwards, odds are you're trying to get back to the navigation, so why not show it right then and there for the user. – DA01 Mar 11 '14 at 4:17
  • Hmm. LinkedIn was on Chrome, Windows 8. Google+ was on my Android Phone, specifically in the Google+ app. – General_Twyckenham Mar 11 '14 at 4:32
  • And @DA01, I do understand the reasoning, I just really dislike how it looks/changes the screen. I'd much prefer a button to scroll to top, or something similar. – General_Twyckenham Mar 11 '14 at 4:33
  • aha! I do see it on LinkedIn. I was looking at Facebook (oops). I can't say if it's good or bad, but do think it fits into the same theory...these are infinite-scroll sites so you may be incredibly far down the page that making a trip back up to the top to navigate would just be too cumbersome--which is especially true on tablets where swiping can be much more tedious than clicking on the top of a scroll bar (which is probably why the Google+ app does it even if the web site does not). – DA01 Mar 11 '14 at 4:35
  • @DA01 Ah, glad we got that figured out. Makes sense - still don't like it ;) – General_Twyckenham Mar 11 '14 at 5:20
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This pattern plays a big role on mobile devices, where vertical screen space is scarce.

I suggest using Chrome on iOS (perhaps on Android, too). The way the URL bar behaves is exactly this feature, but feels very natural and gives you a great, full screen reading experience.

My guess is it works a lot better on mobile since scrolling happens much more often and is more intuitive than on the desktop.

This way it becomes second nature to swipe the content towards where you suspect your desired element is – and the URL bar is always at the top, reachable within half a second no matter how far down you are.

Here's how it looks like in Safari: Safari URL bar on iOS

Definitely less so on the desktop, where we not only have the screen space available to show chrome and give a good reading experience, but where scrolling to get to crucial elements feels very forced.

In case you want to use this feature in your project, there's a jQuery plugin for that: http://eduardomb.github.io/scroll-up-bar/

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