I think the numeric values in pagination are not needed because users don't know what data will appear when they tap on that.

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2 Answers 2


Why Pagination?

The first question to ask is, what purpose does your pagination serve? We need to understand that first, to know how a pagination component (if any) needs to function for the user. Example: If the user is presented with a list of resources (e.g. fruits) in a table view with 10 items per page, then what reason would a user have to want to directly navigate from let's say page 2 to page 15?

Let's explore.

User Journey

Probably, a user would want to be in control of which data is presented into the table and navigate forward based on what they see in the first place, reducing the necessity to 'browse' through the pages. The 2nd question then is, what's the journey the user wants to commence once presented with a list of items? In other words, what is it the user most likely is going to want to do and based on what information?

Filtering and Sorting

The answer is: they filter and sort. For instance, for a table of fruits, maybe the user wants to filter by type of fruit (e.g. 'mango'). Or maybe they want to filter by fruit's origin (e.g. 'Caribbean'). Maybe the user then wants to sort by expiration date, to see the most fresh mangos from the Caribbean first and the ones that are almost done last.

If the user wants to continue their journey based on which mangos from the Caribbean are about to expire or are already expired, they would probably want to sort by expiration date ascending, resulting in the oldest fruits on top.

So far, I have yet to find a reason to need pagination, let alone pagination which allows the user to directly go to a specific page. Because, even for the case the user wants to see the most expired fruits, they can sort ascending instead of descending, invalidating the need to 'go to the last page'. On top of that, one could add a filter that allows the user to 'only show expired fruits', invalidating the need to find where the fruits start expiring and thus again invalidating the need to have a 'jump to page' functionality.

Part of the answer

And therefore, the first example you show (which is sometimes indeed seen in the wild) has little value to actual users in real life.

The tabel itself should probably indicate the amount of results and the amount shown based on the filtering, as the table is the view actually presenting the data and thus the table's title should reflect that meta information. That means, the pagination itself does not need to indicate the amount of results. (i.e. it's not the purpose of pagination).

Now, pagination in itself can have value.

  1. First of all, browsing through pages is sometimes unavoidable, due to the sheer amount of results in the list of items. Of course, one can question whether or not the filtering system is then inadequate, as a user would most likely want to filter in such a way, that the results are limited enough to browse effectively though the filtered items.
  2. Secondly, pagination - if implemented correctly - somewhat allows for URL sharing, bookmarking etc. Now that's a whole different subject, but it at least justifies somewhat the existence of pagination.
  3. Worst case scenario, even when having to deal with a lot of results, after having browsed through several pages into the result list, the user might be keen on 'going back to the beginning'. Of course, a good URL implementation should allow a user to change the page number and browser directly to the first page. Or, clicking the back button of the browser allows to user to get back to the start. But at this point, we might as well have the 'first page' functionality embedded into the pagination as that would ease the pain for the user in those (rare) cases.

In conclusion, I would suggest keeping it simple (at first) and only do something like the below example. Based on user needs, one can always expand functionality if deemed necessary.

pagination UI

  • 1
    What I understood after reading this I also have to find why users are using the pagination. It may be that there are not enough search, filter, and sorting options there which make their workflow easier. What to do so they can access the right information in the right amount of time without browsing multiple pages.
    – Rishi Shah
    Commented Jun 24, 2022 at 13:32
  • @RishiShah Pretty much that yes. Often we tend to just add the pagination with al the default option you frequently see in libraries such as Material or Bootstrap. Question is. though, does the user really need it in the first place? But above all, aren't we actually just covering up a lack of functionality elsewhere which would be much more helpful to the user.
    – Kriem
    Commented Jun 24, 2022 at 14:59
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    Don't assume users always want to search or filter. Sometimes they just want to browse. This because they don't look for something specific or they simply don't want to think about search terms and filter options.
    – jazZRo
    Commented Jun 24, 2022 at 16:29
  • @jazZRo can you please share some user scenarios or examples related to this? It would be much helpful for me when I present the design to leadership team.
    – Rishi Shah
    Commented Jun 25, 2022 at 5:51
  • @jazZRo I agreed with your point because sometime we only carry the mental image with us so we don't know how to find the right result. So we browse everything manually.
    – Rishi Shah
    Commented Jun 25, 2022 at 6:06

The 2nd option with Back/Next/First/Last arrow and dropdown/textbox to jump to a particular page works well with most users. Displaying the 10 page numbers does not benefit users that much as no user will try and jump to any random page number here, the data displayed in the grid is always filtered and displayed based on the priority.

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