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Pagination on the Internet and why it’s weird

Pagination on the Internet and why it’s weird

A slightly aimless foray into how we sort collections of items on the internet, meant as a basis for a discussion on the topic.

Held at up.front Berlin in June 2012

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Alex Feyerke

June 13, 2012
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Transcript

  1. PAGINATION

  2. PAGINATION SRSLY.

  3. soundcloud.com /shigeto/tracks?page=1

  4. But what does that actually mean?

  5. The page with the newest stuff.

  6. So what does this mean?

  7. The page with the… slightly older stuff?

  8. How much older? It varies.

  9. Fair enough.

  10. But what will it mean in 4 weeks?

  11. It‘ll mean what page 1 meant today. More or less.

  12. The meaning of page numbers changes over time.

  13. 1 2 3 4 new old

  14. 1 2 3 4 5 new old

  15. 1 2 3 4 5 new old

  16. The meaning of page numbers changes over time. Which defies

    the whole point of a URL.
  17. Page 2 has no relationship to the content of the

    page. It has no more intrinsic meaning than next.
  18. So how is it supposed to work?

  19. So how is it supposed to work? Like in books.

    You know: where page numbers come from.
  20. 1 old new

  21. 1 2 old new

  22. 1 2 3 old new

  23. 1 2 3 4 old new

  24. 1 2 3 4 old new 5

  25. So. Page 1. Book: the beginning Net: the end

  26. So. Page 1. Book: the beginning Net: the end WEIRD.

  27. On the internet: • Pages go from newest to oldest

    • Page content varies over time • Page numbers are for relative navigation only
  28. WAT

  29. Solution: • Number pages from first to last • Newest

    content stays left (because we read ltr) • We use older and newer instead of forward and back
  30. 1 new old

  31. 2 1 new old

  32. 3 2 1 new old

  33. 4 3 2 1 new old

  34. 4 3 2 1 new old 5

  35. Now: • Page numbers are deterministic • Content is stable

    and linkable • Page numbers actually have inherent meaning • The whole thing actually makes sense • Dead easy to implement
  36. BUT:

  37. New SoundCloud: • Endless scrolling

  38. MEH

  39. Pagination: still relevant? • endless scrolling is everywhere • lots

    of collections change all the time anyway • no-one minded when pagination was broken • is a book really the best basis for an interaction pattern for collections of items?
  40. Pagination: still relevant? • content has changed • behaviours and

    expectations have also changed • finding things is different: less browsing, more searching, filtering, tags, recommendations etc.
  41. But pagination still is useful: • Are streams really applicable

    to everything? Naw. • Some collections are meant to be stable and long-lasting • Archivability is still useful there
  42. So if you‘re going to have page numbers, you might

    as well make them consistent and useful.
  43. Thanks! Alex Feyerke @espylaub up.front June 2012