... read the whole story at bradfrost.com.
The overflow pattern is a technique used in fluid web designs to expose more content as screen real estate becomes available. Typically seen in carousels and data tables, the overflow pattern allows content to remain compact for small screens while still capitalizing on additional screen real estate.
The benefits are obvious. Exposing more content, especially for an e-commerce site like Amazon, means more chances for users to see something they’d like to buy.
Also, a common complaint with regards to mobile-first responsive design is that large screen versions of mobile-first designs look stark and vacant. The overflow pattern alleviates that problem by introducing more content to fill in the void. This pattern scales well, so small screen users all the way up to 27″ cinema display users can have a (more or less) optimized experience without having to dramatically reconfigure the interface.