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We are working on a pagination model with a text box entry for entering page number. I would like to solicit your feedback on the below mentioned scenarios in terms of usability and accessibility.

Is there a better way to handle this? Looking forward for your feedback and thoughts. thank you!

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    I'd ask: What is the content you are paginating? What is the value of jumping to, say, page '52'? Is this a data set that a user would typically need to dig deep into? If so, would they be able to determine that they need to get directly to page 52? My hunch is that this is a feature that, while nice, is over-designed as it may not be used all that much. – DA01 May 14 '14 at 15:43
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Like DA01, I wonder about the usability of this paging method, but aside from that...

Your error handling looks pretty reasonable. My only modification would be to your Special Characters case. I'd recommend having the system strip out the special characters and go to (in your example) page 12. Then you only need the error message if there are no numerals in the input at all. And that should be a rare case.

I imagine nearly all the non-numeric characters in a page input would be typos. (And your QA testers.)

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  • Thanks DA01 and Ken! We will shortly be usability testing this feature. But when I auto strip characters, will it be ok from accessibility standpoint? – Raj Radhakrishnan May 14 '14 at 15:55
  • I'm not sure what to say about accessibility. If the page is designed using accessibility standards, then I don't imagine you'll run into trouble with people entering numbers into a field. But you're doing the right thing, running some tests on it. – Ken Mohnkern May 14 '14 at 17:50
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Looks fine, however, you might consider another behavior for the '-2' case.

Adding a plus or minus sign before an integer could also be used to navigate n pages forwards or backwards. Granted, this function will only be used by a few users, so it's up to you to decide whether you want to implement this.

Accessibility concerned, I think you'll be just fine if you remove unwanted characters after your input element has lost focus. You can do this directly with Javascript (providing the user with a subtle hint that some of the characters weren't allowed) or you can do this server-side, away from the user.

Have you already thought of the worst case scenario? The user inputs a string that can't be converted to a sensible page number. What will happen then?

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  • My vote for your worst-case is that it should leave the nonsense string in the field and do nothing. – Ken Mohnkern May 20 '14 at 13:20
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First of all make note that this is not a great way of creating a navigation if you are dealing with dynamic content (the content on a page will always change as you add more items to the list, therefore typing the number does not make sense because you won't know what you're going to get).

Second, if you still go with this approach make sure you provide the same feedback to the user upon entering a wrong value. Now you do 3 different things for 3 similar actions so you have a consistency issue:

  • adding a "-x" number will take the user to page #1
  • adding a n+x number (n=total pages) will take the user to page #100
  • adding characters "$" will display an error and no page change seems to happen

So you should either auto correct in all the 3 cases or you should display an error message in all the 3 cases.

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