Still, something struck me recently while looking through Google's Image search: it's a dynamically-loaded, infinitely-scrollable list with (some form of) pagination, which seems like a unique case.
I mulled over a few reasons for it, but discarded them:
- As an anchor for content: "Hey, Joe, search 'pagination' and check out page 2". This doesn't work because Google tailors search results per user, so my page 2 won't be Joe's page 2.
- 'Page breaks' demarcate loading zones. Not the case; content is dynamically loaded between Page breaks. Even then, why would the user care?
- To show how much you've already loaded. That's why scrollbars have dynamically-sized handles.
Why would a designer implement this? Is there a genuine advantage to the user that I'm missing?
Example of the current behaviour: