Pagination is one of the ubiquitous UI elements in website design. Designed in various formats and color combinations, this UI element has remained relatively static with respect to its usability functions. But in my opinion there is a lot more we can squeeze out of this little element. My pet peeve regarding pagination is its inability to inform me about the content residing on a particular page in question, especially in Worpress like CMS.
For example if I’m browsing a site and am only interested in some particular type of posts, I’ve no way to quickly identify the posts on each page. And many sites do not make it easier as they do not even have any archive page. The only way forward is to visit each page and search for the relevant content. It would be wonderful if one could quickly glance at the post titles on each page from the pagination links itself as shown in the diagram below.
But I’ve doubts whether this will be useful with pagination that just shows ‘next page’ and ‘previous page’ links. Still I think it is worth looking into. To see the concept in action you can check the pagination links on the current blogs home page. The present iteration just displays the post titles; adding click-able links to the displayed post titles will be another good idea (currently
implemented removed, but still in testing phase).
Creating the concept
For building the preview I used the wp-paginate WordPress plugin and modified a couple of functions to extract the post titles. The preview tool-tip uses the excellent jQuery qTip2 plugin to display the post titles on hovering over the pagination links.
Although this looks like extra investment in time for a small return; in my opinion it somewhat increases the usability for the user.