“Pagination is the process of dividing a document into discrete pages, either electronic pages or printed pages.” Wikipedia
Pagination are an important element in web designing. Especially in content heavy websites and applications pagination is used to divide content and present in limited & digestible manner. In this articles we are going to see some best practices for designing better pagination.
1. Pagination or lazy load? Choose wisely
IT is the first question a designer need to answer “What will work best pagination or lazy load in the given context?” Both pagination and lazy load have different benefits for better usability and user experience.
2. Place it correctly
Placement of Pagination is really important from Usability point of view. Many a times we have long vertical page in web and user tries to scroll down –down and if pagination is placed at top then user might miss it out and if pagination is only present at bottom then for going to next pages user might have to scroll page completely. For longer pages (long tables) provide pagination at both places at top and at bottom. It makes two major benefits, first is chances of missing out pagination are less and second users get flexibility to go to other pages easily.
3. Selected state and actions should be properly visible
Visibility of system status is prime important heuristic principle applied in Pagination. Current selected state and actions (Next, Previous buttons etc.) should be clearly visible to users.
4. Show first and last page upfront
Showing the last page number in pagination upfront makes it easier to know the limit of pagination for an end user. Also it can reduce to action buttons from pagination element i.e. ‘first and last page’, resulting it makes pagination component less complex.
5. Have flexible and efficient ‘Go to page’
Many a times in content heavy web applications (like finance, sales, accounting applications etc.) where number of records in table are more than 100 to 1000s. For providing ‘Ease of use’ to potential users, we should include ‘Go to Page’ element in pagination where users can directly enter or select page number and go directly to that page for viewing records.
6. Provide control to user for selecting number of records per page
Decision for finalizing number of records in table or page should be taken by end user. Potential users have their own pattern to using the system and if we are providing the decision to them then it can bring more flexibility for them. This flexibility can result in more user satisfaction and better performance.
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