24 December, 2007

HTML Paginations

When designing web pages you may have been faced with the most common problem of having a lot of information to print on the screen. This may have resulted a long web page where the users have to scroll down for hours to find an end to it. And though your web page contains interesting information this may make it boring to the reader to go through all that. So to avoid this hindrance you can use Pagination.

Pagination is a mechanism used for breaking down large documents into significant segments, and for presenting search results in small chunks comfortable for the user to go through. You may have definitly noticed that when you search for some keyword with Google if you get a lot of results (above 10) some links are given at the bottom of the page for you to jump through them, (as 1, 2, 3, 4, etc.) and a Last button to jump to the last series of results and a First button to jump to the first series of results, you can see this in any web-based program. (Gmail, Google, Flickr are some examples).

When coding up paginations you may have to make sure that they wont get your user stranded among the results. So you have to indicate to him where he is now, what is ahead, and so on. To do all these you can use basic HTML, and CSS. Also it is better to uses page numbers or tags for paginations rather than the traditional next and previous buttons, because then your user can jump across your information, which will help him to find what he wants, otherwise he may have to proceed in a sequential manner, which is harder than scrolling the page.

for additional reading refer to the following URLs:

http://kurafire.net/log/archive/2007/06/22/pagination-101
http://www.mis-algoritmos.com/2007/03/16/some-styles-for-your-pagination/

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