Join an online community with more than 350,000 members from 150,000+ organizations, where you can ask questions and get advice.
TechSoup hosts free weekly webinars on a variety of topics, from cloud computing to fundraising to social media and tech strategy.
Need help downloading or using your donations? You'll find essential resources on these topics and more in our support pages.
Close this window
An excerpt from Stop Pagination Now by Farhad Manjoo
Splitting articles and photo
galleries into multiple pages is evil. It should stop. Pagination is one of the worst design and usability sins on the Web,
the kind of obvious no-no that should have gone out with blinky text,
dancing cat animations, and autoplaying music. It shows constant, quiet
contempt for people who should be any news site’s highest priority—folks
who want to read articles all the way to the end.
The full opinion piece is here on Slate.
What do YOU think, as a user of web sites, and/or as a designer? Be sure to read the full article for all of Manjoo's argument!
-=-=-=-=-=- Jayne Cravens Author, The LAST Virtual Volunteering Guidebook
I am in agreement with the author in that the obvious reason why content creators allow this to happen is because clicking through to more pages exposes the reader to more advertisements. Those advertisements, of course, are the money makers for the site.
And, just like television, the content is only there as a means to expose you to commercials. If it were not for the content you would not watch the commercial, would you? The same holds true for the internet. By spreading the message among as many pages as possible, the site owner exposes you to as many advertisements as they can get away with.
That is my two cents, anyway.
Tim ClaremontSystems AdministratorRochester, NY
While I agree pagination is a pain, my intent on replying is more of an observation of irony. I clicked on the link to the full article. It is paginated!
Gary Network/Systems Admin Berlin, NHHost Non-profit Tech Careers, Security ForumsCo-Host Networks, Hardware, & Telecommunications Forum
"I clicked on the link to the full article. It is paginated!" The author notes that right up front - that he's writing an article for Slate, which uses pagination and slide shows.
Kind of like me, being so passionate about the importance of accessible web design - on a web site that doesn't meet accessibility standards.
Yeah, I know that the author was upfront about it. I was trying to be funny. Sometimes pagination can be annoying, and sometimes it is a necessary evil. Our company website has it on the home page giving the reader the choice of clicking a link for the full article which isn't paginated.
I hate scrolling. Why should I have to keep turning the darn mouse-wheel or using the scroll bars constantly. Why can't all pages detect what the height of my browser window is and only show me that much content each time. If I want more, I can do one simple click and not a lot of boring, finger-carpel inducing pain? Another benefit is that each page will load much, much faster since there is less to load.
Pass the Mandatory Pagination Amendment Now!
Committee for Pagination In Our Nation
Christian Nielsen's Blog
At the end of the day, SOMEBODY has to foot the bill. If the publisher can make his money through advertisements that means he does NOT need to collect any (or as much) money from the audience. So, if you want a site with no advertising, be prepared to pay for it whether the cost is money or an exchange of your personal information for marketing purposes.
Again, just like with television, the content is not there simply to entertain you. It is there to get you to watch commercials. Better content in either medium attracts more lucrative advertisements. Like most other things, follow the money and you will find your answer.
Contrary to the author, I don't believe splitting articles into multiple pages is evil.
Forcing the user to click to the next page to continue reading can definitely be annoying at times. I understand why it's done (displaying ads, etc.), but it's also a nuisance from a usability perspective. But sometimes it makes sense to split longer articles into multiple pages.
The trick is in how you execute scrolling vs. pagination for the information you present. An article that runs thousands of words long can be daunting to read if all of it is on a single page. Scrolling is not necessarily the best approach here. Instead of having one endlessly long page, most people would prefer having the same information split into two or more shorter pages. But if you stick with scrolling, your lengthy single-page article should be as pleasant to read as possible: consider adding headers and sections between paragraphs, include hyperlinks to allow people to jump to the next section on the page, and so on.
Bottom line is that on the web, information needs to be presented in a format that is easy to read and visually pleasing. And people want to get this information quickly. It's important to keep in mind that most people don't have the patience to scroll down pages of text that are endlessly long; nor do they have the patience to click through an excessive number of pages just to "continue reading". Many site owners/operators fail to keep in mind that the way content is presented is just as important as the content itself. Consideration should always be given to both of these factors (content presentation and content quality) when publishing material on your site.
Yann Toledano, Digital Marketing Strategist
Host, Web Building Forum, TechSoup.org