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I am working on a web application which requires me to display thousands of images as stored in the database. I want to implement it in this way: Each time the user scrolls through a certain number of images (say 10) the next set of 10 images is loaded. I know that I can use infinite scroll for that, but is their some other, maybe better, way of approaching this?

I was suggested to ask the question here when I asked it on stackoverflow.

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You just described infinite scroll and then said that you don't want to use it. Why is that? –  JohnGB Jan 14 '13 at 18:27
    
I am not saying I dont want to use it. I am saying is there a better way of doing this thing. Like one way is pagination but i prefer infinity scroll over that –  Shagun Jan 14 '13 at 18:29
    
Infinite scroll, pagination, or very little content. Those are the options. –  JohnGB Jan 14 '13 at 18:37
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There are probably many alternatives to infinite scroll (zip up all the images so user can download them all, show all of them in a modal slideshow, have a filter so you only show 10 matching a set criteria, add a 'random 10 images' button...) what criteria would you use to decide if one option is better than the other? –  JonW Jan 14 '13 at 19:29
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I don't think this is a real question. Is there a better X than X? No, there is X. If the question is how best to display a large volume of images, you can provide us context, and then its a real question. –  Fresheyeball Jan 14 '13 at 19:31

2 Answers 2

Standard pagination with the option of setting page size is one alternative. It (pagination) can in some instances benefit from more information and options:

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

Infinite scroll asks very little from the user but in return gives them very little info or control, and can have performance issues. In my experience infinite scroll only works well for a small number of pages (or auto loads), and of course the weight of an auto-load is a big factor in how unobtrusive it works.

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The problem with this is, that most of the websites don't delete the unused data. so they start cluttering the memory after a while. –  K.. Jan 15 '13 at 7:52

It depends on how people will be interacting with your website. If they need to come back or bookmark images then infinite scroll is probably the wrong solution. ETSY has a great blog post on why infinite scroll didn't work for them. If I know I want image 300 out of 1000 then infinite scroll becomes annoying. However, with pagination I can easily jump to different sections of the results. Also categories or tags could make it easier for people to find images.

I think pagination can work if you offer a decent number of images for each page.

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