Good news, Chrome fans! Google is finally issuing an update to prevent accidental clicks when the browser is loading a page.
One of the most annoying issues of Google Chrome refers to the utterly frustrating page jumps when gradually loading a webpage. With the latest version of the browser, however, Google is finally addressing the issue with a new feature called "scroll anchoring."
Google Chrome Scroll Anchoring: No More Page Jumps
This cool scroll anchoring feature consists of a new technique Google is implementing to counter the page jump as a side effect of gradual loading. For those unfamiliar with the matter, here's the deal.
Google Chrome loads webpages progressively so that it enables users to start reading the page even before it's fully loaded. This progressive loading, however, often triggers a page jump as it loads new content off the screen, in turn pushing the on-screen content down. At the same time, ads can trigger such page jumps as well.
"These annoying page jumps typically happen when the website inserts an image or other content above the visible area, pushing down what's on the screen," Google explains.
These page jumps can be incredibly distracting and downright annoying for readers trying to go through an article, for instance, only to have the whole page shift and rearrange itself. This occurs more often on smartphones due to the smaller screen real estate, and it often leads to accidental clicks too as the webpage jumps when users are trying to navigate.
Google Chrome 56
With the latest Chrome 56, the scroll position gets locked on an on-screen element to prevent the page jump even if other content on the webpage is still loading off-screen.
"With the newest Chrome update, we're introducing something called scroll anchoring, which locks the content you're currently looking at to the screen, keeping you in the same spot so you can keep reading," notes Google.
The company further highlights that with scroll anchoring, it managed to prevent nearly three page jumps on average per page view, and it's still improving. Moreover, Google has also asked web developers for help to improve the browser's ability to counter these unexpected page jumps.
Scroll Anchoring: Potential Side Effects
Nevertheless, Google also reckons that this new feature could be a double-edge sword and have some side effects of its own.
"Due to the expressiveness of the web, there might be some content for which scroll anchoring is either unwanted or misbehaving. For this reason, this feature ships alongside the "overflow-anchor" CSS property to override the functionality. To further minimize potential issues, scroll anchoring is disabled on complex interactive layouts via suppression triggers, and on back/forward navigations to allow for scroll restoration," Google explains on its Chromium blog for web developers.
All in all, the new scroll anchoring technique is among the greatest features Chrome has received lately and should translate to a significantly better browsing experience with less hiccups and annoyances. The feature is enabled by default with the latest Chrome 56, so just update the browser to start enjoying a smoother navigation with fewer page jumps.