We are presented with two options to implement pagination on our site. The option 1 is a pretty standard way of showing the start and the end however option 2 is a little different . I would like to get a opinion on which is the better one when it comes to user experience.

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There are other ways to solve the problem, which are much more effective from a users' goal. First consider the problem from the user's perspective. For example, ask yourself why the user would want to click page 17 when they are on page 3 in the pagination sequence? How would they know if page 17 had what they were looking for?

In most of the usability tests I have run over the years, very rarely would a user want to jump instantly to page 17 from page 3 - typically they just want simple Next and Previous buttons to sequentially go through the pages. The insights I have seen suggest that if a user cannot find something fairly quickly they would prefer to switch to an alternate system, e.g. a faceted search feature, select different filters, change search criteria, etc.

A fascinating book to read which backs up some of my own findings is Search Patterns by Peter Morville & Jeffery Callender. The patterns they discuss are all focused on the user's goal, which is often to find just one record, rather than wade through lots of records.

So based on my testing experience and this book, I now tend to design pagination in a very different way.

First you just see this, which allows the user to quickly page through sequentially using Previous and Next buttons:

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If they trigger the drop-down, they can choose to jump to a specific page (as well as choose number of records per page):

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The point I am trying to make here is, maybe you are trying to solve the wrong problem? Other than that, if you are stuck with pagination, then option 1 would be better than option 2.


The most important point of navigation, for the user, is to know where one is as well as where the beginning and end are. In either of the two options indicate the arrows go to the next or previous. Option 1 is best shown, and besides allow you to go to next / previous, you can go directly to the beginning or end, of which no option 2


It's hard to determine which is a better user experience without knowing the content that is being paginated and the needs of the user.

Both options are functionally different. Option 1 has an additional feature of allowing users to go to the beginning and the end. While Option 2 allows the user to jump further ahead or back from their current page and is a bit more simple.

I would determine whether there is a scenario where a user wants to go back to the first or last page and if so, then option 1 makes sense. Otherwise, I'd go with option two which is simpler.

If you're not sure then option 1 will have you covered, but best to test before you build so you don't build a feature that no one will use.

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