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Pavination Vs. Infinite Scroll in Datagrids

Are there any research findings or papers or usability testing findings on Pagination Vs. Infinite scroll in a datagrid. I am trying to define UX patterns for datagrid in my project, so looking for a good research backup. Any information would help.

Data Grid with Pagination enter image description here

Data Grid with Infinite Scroll enter image description here

Thanks.

  • A derivative of the Infinite Scroll is an infinite page such as used by Linkedin. As the user reaches the end of the page, new records are added via Ajax. I personally don't like not knowing where the end is (or if there is one as you use the word "infinite"). – user1032531 Mar 19 '16 at 13:58
  • it renders the footer virtually useless on any page that does it, don't put important links there! – Toni Leigh Mar 19 '16 at 14:59
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TL;DR Good user interface should support user tasks to provide the best UX. Think of UX first, and use an approptiate UI pattern to implement it.

General Tasks

I assume there are some common tasks while working with datagrid control:

  • Finding a record/set of records with given conditions (e.g. find all the items with given price). Filtering and sorting options over finite set solve it. With infinite scrolling, it's an issue: was the all the set processed, or just loaded part?
  • Getting a set of topmost/downmost records (e.g. get 10 topmost selling items). Sorting option over finite set does it perfectly. And we have an issue with infinite scrolling pattern.
  • Getting the number of records. A grid control with pagination shows this number.

Pagination

Data grid with pagination supports the mentioned tasks very well. Pagination conveys the idea of the finite number of records in a set. So it's clear for user, that any operations (filtering, sorting) is performed over the whole set. It's aligned with user's mental model.

Infinite Scrolling

User actions on data grid are very tasks-oriented. Observing the large set of numbers is boring task, and the cognitive load is too high. And the worst thing: the filtering/sorting results are totally depend on how deep user has scrolled the page, they are independent of the data itself!

Infinite scrolling is just not appropriate for these kind of tasks.

Alternative to Pagination

Sometimes user needs not to work with the whole set. An example is Google Flight. To simplify UI and reduce cognitive load, Google Flights shows only the best options in a grid, and provides Show longer or more expensive flights link, to disclose more records in a grid.

enter image description here
So the best options depend on user tasks. Think of UX first, and pick the best UI patterns to implement it.

There is a good article to read: Infinite Scrolling, Pagination Or “Load More” Buttons? Usability Findings In eCommerce

  • The points you make are mostly implementation dependant; only relevant if you are restricted to "out of the box" infinite scroll solution instead of building your own. 1) Users need to know about the entire dataset (showing X of Y). Even the name "infinite scrolling" starts off the wrong foot. 2) Filtering/sorting should be done on the entire set, not a partially loaded set. The only real functional difference between paging and scrolling on-demand is than that users can navigate non-linearly within the paged set while the scroll solution requires that users traverse the set linearly. – arnthorsnaer May 7 '18 at 13:07

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