So, in general my experience is that the Material Design spec by Google has been extremely well thought out, which doesn't mean I blindly follow it, but at least I think twice about every decision they do make. So I noticed that in their Data Table spec they do not include buttons to go the first and last page. As 17 out of the first 20 paginated data tables on Google Images do include those buttons I can't simply dismiss this as 'oh hey, they forgot', so, are there any good reasons to not include those buttons explicitly?
I think a short answer is it depends...
I see the following pros in using these links:
- A visitor is able to quickly navigate back to the beginning of collection with a single click (assuming they are deep in their browsing session and page #1 is no longer visible)
- If a collection is sorted "price low to high" but the opposite sorting is not given. There might be a case where a viewer is interested to look at most expensive items.
- A visitor somehow landed on a page "N" of the results list via an organic search and after digesting the information they want to go to the first page
Most viewers prefer to look at content chronologically. If all necessary filtering and sorting options are provided, then I don't see a need to display those buttons. There are also different pagination design patterns that could be used to cover any gaps.