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I build web apps. Almost every one has a screen or two somewhere that shows a listing, and at the bottom it has pagination links, e.g. next page, page 3, etc. For a recent app I’ve been working on, the interface is very search-driven, i.e. the user enters some criteria the results are displayed.

As an experiment, I left off the pagination links. In this app, there is no “next page.” Instead, if the results are not on the first page, then the user must refine their search.

If you think about it, how often do you scroll through a Google search results page and then choose to change your search query rather than click on the next page? If you’re like me, a lot. Even if you do click the next page, I would bet you don’t click much past page 2.

For users who see the Web and web apps as a necessary evil, they might be more apt to page through thousands of results rather than think about what they’re looking for and change the query. Ditching the pagination links lights up a different part of the brain I would guess (of course I have no idea considering I am only a web geek).

What do you think? Am I evil? Can it work?

By the way, I haven’t had any complaints yet. We’ll see…



  1. This is a pretty interesting usability experiment. Have you setup any A/B testing or instrumentation to measure how ofter people use the pagination links?

  2. Ha! Nope. Just an informal experiment.

  3. Hmmm. Well, when I think about it, I rarely click through more than 2 to 3 pages of search results, so maybe a paradigm change is in order. But I still think you’re evil. ;-)

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