Pagination vs Infinite scrolling: The useful comparison for you to choose the right

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Pagination or Infinite scrolling, which would be better? Many website owners get stuck in a dilemma when it comes to choosing between any one of the UX patterns for their website. In this article, we will share deep insights into both these processes as an useful comparison to help you choose the better one for your website.

What is Pagination?

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Pagination is the process of breaking large content into smaller chunks. It divides your website content into discrete pages and forms a  sequential numbering at the end of a page.

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Example of react pagination

A common example of Pagination is the Google search result. Every time you search something on Google, it displays n number of results that are divided into a number of pages.

Pros of Pagination

Better Conversions

“Conversion” is the major factor that has kept online businesses stick to the Pagination process. Pagination proves to be extremely helpful for users who have entered your website with a purchasing mindset rather than just browsing through the content.

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Better Control

With Pagination, you can reach to the footer of the website or the top section conveniently, therefore, providing better control to browse the content.

According to the David Kieras research Psychology in Human-Computer Interaction: “Reaching an end point provides a sense of control”. The research also clarifies that when users have limited but still relevant results, they are able to determine easily if what they’re seeking is actually there or not.

Also when users see total number of results, they will be able to estimate how much time it’ll take to find what they’re actually looking for.

Easy tracking and bookmarking

Pagination makes it easy to track how much content has been consumed. Consider Google search results or Amazon, for example, if you have gone through some pages already, you do not need to go through them again. You can directly jump to a specific page and also bookmark it for later use.

Cons of Pagination

Breaks the flow

Pagination obstructs seamless browsing. It breaks the flow of a visitor by asking him/her to navigate to the next page to browse further and disturbs the user experience.

More clicks and loading time

Users get tired after clicking on the “next’ button or switching between pages multiple times. Not only it is tiring but users also get irked by the page loading process.

About Infinite scrolling

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Infinite scrolling or continuous scrolling is a single-page scrolling. It goes on endlessly with no certain finish line. It basically loads the overall content on a single page and offers a continuous flow of browsing. With Infinite Scrolling, the next page content or say the next set of products are loaded automatically within the same page as the user scrolls down. It is also known as Progressive loading and endless scrolling.

Social media sites like Facebook and Instagram are some of the best examples of Infinite scrolling.

Pros of Infinite scrolling

More User Engagement

When you use scrolling as your prime method of exploring the data, it may make the user to stay longer on your web page, and so increase user engagement. With the popularity of social media, massive amounts of data are being consumed. Infinite scrolling offers an efficient way to browse that ocean of information, without extra clicks/taps.

Infinite scrolling keeps the user flow and engages your audience towards your content, hence creating more user engagement.

Scrolling is Better Than Clicking

Scrolling has lower interaction cost than clicking/tapping. The mouse wheels or touch screens make scrolling faster and easier than clicking. For a continuous and lengthy content, like a tutorial, scrolling provides even better usability than slicing up the text to several separate screens or pages.

Best for mobile users

Infinite scrolling provides an amazing browsing experience to mobile users, especially on the mobile app. Since most of the website traffic today is generated through mobile, Infinite scroll makes the best fit for your business as it is more intuitive and user-friendly.

Along with infinite scrolling, choosing a Magento theme which fully responsive and mobile layout optimized is an effective way to increase mobile users experience.

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Cons of Infinite scrolling

Difficult to navigate to top

When users keep scrolling down, they usually dig deep that navigating to the top becomes a daunting task.

Also, users cannot bookmark a page in Infinite Scrolling. They will have to consume the entire content again when visiting for the next time.

Page performance will increasingly slow down

Page-loading speed is everything for good user experience. Multiple researchers have shown that slow load times result in people leaving your site or delete your app which result in low conversion rates. And that’s bad news for those who use an infinite-scrolling. The more users scroll down a page, more content has to load on the same page. As a result, the page performance will increasingly slow down.

Limited resources of the user’s devices

Another problem is limited resources of the user’s device. On many infinite scrolling sites, especially those with many images, devices with limited resources (such as mobile devices or tablets with dated hardware) can start slowing down because of the sheer number of assets it has loaded.

Pagination vs Infinite Scrolling: The Final Call

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Since you have understood both Pagination and Infinite Scrolling now along with their pros and cons, it is time to decide which one can be a better option for your website/store.

When to use Infinite Scrolling and When to use Pagination?

Considering all the factors, here is my take on Paging vs Progressive loading:

  1. If the user experience and user engagement is your topmost priority, go with Infinite Scrolling else stick to Pagination.
  2. If you have limited content on your website that a user can reach the endpoint after a certain time, prefer Infinite Scrolling. Pagination would make sense if you have wide content.

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