We have all heard the statement that “content is king”, but one must understand the importance of its hierarchy and structure, which is vital for improving readability and reducing content complexity. When content is organised efficiently, the user experience of the product becomes better. People often choose to believe that infinite scrolling is better, where a user can scroll through a massive chunk of content with no finishing line.
However, I find pagination styles to be a better alternative. To answer your question of what is pagination? Wikipedia defines pagination styles as dividing a document into discrete pages, either electronic pages or printed pages. In simpler terms, the pagination styles is used to divide web content into ( discrete) pages, making the content look easily digestible for a multipage layout. In web design, pagination styles are a crucial element, as it is a well-known web organisation method for content mainly applied in content-heavy apps and websites.
Using pagination styles allows the UI designer to provide their users with a unique advantage in terms of consideration and easily navigate various content groups. Google search results page can be considered a typical pagination example. It is also widely used on e-commerce websites such as Amazon or Flipkart or on websites with a lot of content to choose from.
This post would detail more concerning pagination styles, such as types of pagination and pagination design.
Types of pagination
When people often google pagination styles in web design, they also tend to look for types of pagination styles. There are two types of pagination styles in web design:
The standard pagination styles allow control to browse through pages one by one – the user can browse from one page to another through the links provided. Such pagination styles can be best utilised for undirected browsing, where the user has a vague idea of what they’re looking for, but they’re just generally browsing through content.
The compact pagination styles provide a simple alternative version of the standard pagination styles where the user can select their desired page through a drop-down box. Such pagination styles are ideal for smaller screen sizes and best utilised for directed browsing. The user has a particular goal in mind and would identify the page number for future reference.
When it comes to pagination styles in CSS, there are a few mentioned below:
Active and Hoverable Pagination
Rounded Active and Hoverable Buttons
Hoverable Transition Effect
Rounded Border Pagination
I am not going into detail as I am not an expert on the subject. But many web professionals on the internet can provide you with a better idea.
When talking about pagination styles, a web designer must regard a few golden rules to pagination design. Some of those golden rules are:
Placement is crucial
To ensure good usability, placement is very crucial. It is best to add the pagination styles at the top and the bottom for long pages to remove the possibility of scrolling up and down. This also offers flexibility allowing the user not to miss it.
Bigger is always better
Web designers should pay attention to the size of pagination styles buttons. Smaller numbers may result in the unintended clicking of another button, thus taking the user to a page he/she did not intend to visit. And thanks to the existence of smartphones or tablets, the world has shifted its views to smaller screen sizes. Thus, the standard size (44X44) should be applied.
Underlines are not the best idea
Sometimes, underlines may lead to a bad user experience when utilised in various pagination styles, as users already know clickable elements when they see them. However, such perceived affordances can cause frustration. Web designers should be pretty cautious when using those underlined links on a webpage.
A web designer should aid the user by indicating the current page. One can highlight it, or they can adopt another style to let users differentiate. They should also double-check to avoid any undesired reloading.
Web designers can utilise controls on a multipage website, allowing the user to move forwards and backwards through webpages quickly. Rendering controls can help users proceed to the next page or come back to a previous one. This way, the user can also access the first or the last page.
Allow manual input
If the web designer is working on a multipage website and a user wants to jump to the page in the middle, utilising the controls mentioned above can be of little help. A fitting solution will be to allow manual input, allowing movement between webpages to become painless. The web designer should give the user enough freedom to jump pages by utilising the Go to function directly.
If web designers can follow these golden rule, they can create good pagination and avoid getting their users’ complaints.
The last thing I want to talk about is responsive pagination, although it is outside my purview. So I will talk about it briefly, just for your understanding.
Responsive pagination is an improved pagination style(s) design. If a web designer is making a modern website, elements like responsive pagination will add extra sophistication to the plan. As you can see from the pagination example above, the borders have a round edge to hold the numbers. Vivid highlighters are utilised to designate the current page. The animation effects and transition are very subtle but can be customised based on the design needs.
Pagination styles are elements that can help control user interaction. Its purpose is to give a pleasant user experience to the user when he/she is navigating through content. A vast collection of pagination styles can help a web designer create a flawless experience for the app/website. However, web designers should weigh its pros and cons before selecting one, which can depend on the type of product and content delivery format. One must remember that even with infinite scrolling, the top pick for many projects is still pagination styles due to its familiarity and convenience.