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Humanized > Weblog: No More More Pages?
 
Don't force the user to ask for more content: just give it to them.

Tuesday
25 Apr 2006

No More More Pages?

Redesign

Google’s good. But it could be better. Chances are that you’ve done a search where you haven’t found what you’re looking for on the first page. If so, then you’ve had to click on the unhelpfully numbered more-result pages:

google_more.gif
Google's aging links to get more search results.
There’s no semantic meaning in these numbers; there’s no telling what’s lurking behind a representing numeral’s bland exterior. If I find something good on the fourth page, I’ll be unlikely to find it again without aimlessly clicking on random number after random number. Normally, if I don’t find what I want on the first page, I’ll usually just give up.

But it’s not just Google. Alta Vista, Yahoo, Lycos, and all the major search engines conform to the same frustrating way of doing things. Why? Because it was the best solution at the time. A lot of today’s web technologies weren’t around in the mid-1990’s, so designers were forced to place search results on separate pages. But as technology has progressed, no one has thought to go back and redesign.
slashdot_more.gif
Slashdot's frustrating links for browsing history.
Of course, this page-chunking phenomenon isn’t limited to search sites. It’s used everywhere from blogs to forums, from e-commerce sites to e-mail programs. And it’s surprising how often one finds oneself just giving up and going somewhere else when one has reached the end of a page.The problem is that every time a user is required to click to the next page, they are pulled from the world of content to the world of navigation: they are no longer thinking about what they are reading, but about about how to get more to read. Because it breaks their train of thought and forces them to stop reading, it gives them the opportunity to leave the site. And a lot of the time, they do.

The take away? Don’t force the user to ask for more content: just give it to them.

At Humanized, we’ve recently developed a solution to the page-chunking problem. We don’t claim that its the end-all solution, but it’s easy to use and easy to implement with current technology. You’ll probably smack your head when you see it because it’s a “no d’uh” sort of thing. It’s called the “Humanized History” and we’ll debut it this week.

[ Update: We’ve released Humanized Reader! ]

by Aza Raskin