You may have noticed an annoying behavior when browsing the web where pages tend to jump back to a point you had already scrolled past from. The reason is pretty simple: developers want to make sure the actual content of a page loads first and then they load up additional ads and images, the page just happens to adapt accordingly as this off-screen content is loaded.
But while prioritizing content over ads and images should result in a better experience for users — giving the impression that pages load faster — this behavior can be quite frustrating, especially if it happens when you’re trying to click on a link and you somehow end up tapping something else.
With this in mind Google is introducing a new feature called Scroll Anchoring to Chrome 56. The feature works by locking the scroll position on an on-screen element to keep our users in the same spot even as offscreen content continues to load. The video above does a good job explaining it.
Scroll Anchoring will be enabled by default on all websites and according to Google it’s already helping prevent three jumps per page view. That said, developers can also check out its Exclusion API if they need to disable anchors on pages where they may be unwanted.
The focus of the announcement is on mobile, but it works on desktop Chrome, too.