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I am building a social network web application. When a user visits a profile, he can visit a page that contains a list of the profile's friends.

That page is paginated with a simple pagination widget like this:

enter image description here

Question:

Let's say I am paginating with 10 friends per page. If a profile has only 5 friends, he would only have 1 page. In such a case, should I still show the pagination widget (as it will provide no functionality at all)?

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Typically, it's nice for pagination to show x of x, so in that case, you could show 1 of 1 and not bother with the NEXT link. –  DA01 Oct 28 '12 at 23:02

3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I say no superfluous paging widget based on the established conventions I see, namely on google and BBS/forums. In those cases where only one page is needed to show results, no such disabled paging widget or hint of one is shown.

I say "established convention trumps all", so if there are other conventions more aligned with the domain of your application, or if it's possible your audience is somehow used to other conventions, then by all means consider them.

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I would suggest not to show pagination when there are less that 10 recoreds. And also it is better to display current set in form of "showing xxx of xxxxx", with pagination.

It gives user better idea of where they are.

If you are planning to show pagination for less than 5 records, then you have to show it for even single record, and I don't think that would be good idea.

Anyway it's upto you, but my suggestion is to not show pagination if there are fewer records than record in single pagination set.

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The pagination widget does a few different things:

  • It lets me see what page I'm on
  • It lets me know how many pages there are
  • It lets me know when I've seen everything

These are still useful things to communicate even when there is only one page. For example I've been to sites when I've expected a search result to return many results, but it's only returned a few (because I've misunderstood how many matches there will be). But my initial assumption was that something had gone wrong the page hadn't fully loaded - since the page didn't provide good cues that these were all the results.

Now, of course, a pagination widget is not the only - or even the best - way to get that information across. But its worth considering how the user can get that info on pages with few results (e.g. having an explicit footer at the end of the search results, saying '5 of 5 matches shown below' at the topm etc.

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