My site is a sports pick'em social game. Given the nature of sports and pick'em, it tends to be a data-intensive site. I'm very wary of any new features or designs that might cause the user to be overwhelmed with stuff on the screen.
With that, I am trying to redesign the pagination on the site. It currently looks like this:
It's fairly minimal; however, it's not completely usable since there isn't a large or noticeable click area for the pages.
I've taken a crack at redesigning, and it looks like this:
Certainly, from a pagination best-practice standpoint, it fits the bill. However, my personal reaction is that it causes the page to be overwhelming
What are your thoughts? And what suggestions do you have to make the pagination design less visually intrusive for a data-intensive site?