The Pros of Pagination: Page 2

prosofpagination2Miss part one?  Read The Pros of Pagination: An argument against infinite scrolling.

In my last post on this topic, I discussed a number of faults infinite scrolling has.  Here I would like to share a number of pros for pagination that I didn’t cover in the first post.

Pick a search engine.  I personally use Bing, but Google is a fine choice, too.  Notice anything?  The results are paginated (at least, for standard web searches).  You may think this would be a great use of infinite scrolling, but I disagree.

Pagination provides users with a clear metric on whether they’ve gone too far; the more important results will be within the first 5 pages.  If you go past that, you’re either doing some deep scouring, or are unable to find desirable results (typically due to bad SEO, or bad search-fu).  It is a clear indicator of how much you have worked to track down information.

Also, pagination provides a HUGE benefit to content producers, in that it increases ad impressions without requiring more dynamically loaded content.  I know, I know, users hate ads, but there is such a thing as good advertising.  I personally used to create those ads, and for smaller businesses, those ads can provide a huge boon to users and businesses, both.

Pagination also works great on older devices, and mobile browsers.  Wait, what?  Yes, I said pagination is great for mobile.  Allow me to explain.

You may think that the concept of scrolling through content on a touch screen makes pagination an unnecessary step for a user, but that’s assuming the user never, ever accidentally brushes the screen.  Accidental scrolling is a common problem among users, and paginating data ensures that they can’t stray too far from what they were trying to do.

Hopefully this reaches the eyes and ears of content providers and designers: Don’t make a usability choice just because its new, or cool, or interesting to implement: Make a design choice because the end-user will appreciate it.  Ultimately, its the end users who matter.