A case against pagers

Rant warning -. Paging seems such a common interface element on many websites. I personally have some issues with them, as I feel they serve to solve a technical problem, and not so much a usability problem. In fact, I would argue that a pager works against usability.

The number one means to properly organize large amounts of content in any desktop application is fortunately built right in to your browser. In fact, you might see one right now on the far right of this screen, it's a scrollbar!

The biggest reason against pagers, is that I can not utilize Option-F or Apple-F when I quickly want to search through a big table of information. I'd actually need to either rely on the Web Application to provide a search option, or manually have to scroll through the pages to find what I want. Besides that scrolling functionality is built straight into my mouse and I don't have to look & click for a pager.

So I would argue that Pagers mostly solve a technical issue. It is unacceptable to download large amounts of data in a browser. This would increase bandwidth (cost! speed!). It makes me wonder if there are better ways possible to present this.


A lot of high profile news sites even utilize pagers within their articles. We're really just talking about textual content here.

I have a fair idea where these pagers stem from, which is actually another point of annoyance for myself: the outdated perception ad value directly relates to page-views.


I've needed them quite a bit myself, especially since we're doing a lot with media and galleries which are notoriously heavy. If it's not because of the bandwidth, I've definitely seen a huge amount of images slow my browser down quite a bit. The lesser, the better though.