No More Next?

I just found an interesting article by Pete Forde arguing against the "next" button and paging through records entirely.

He even points to an example or two of how this could be done. 

His point is basically that since the web is non-linear, pages don't make sense. After all, the contents of "page 2" today won't necessarily match the contents of "page 2" tomorrow.

Instead, he proposes that more content be appended to end of a page as you reach the bottom. The example that I viewed of this (Humanized Reader), actually worked quite well.

My main objection (which Molly Holzschlag makes as well ) is that this approach doesn't degrade well for users without JavaScript.

This doesn't seem difficult to overcome, however, as you could easily use the "next button" approach but replace it with the endless page via JavScript.

Even so, I think of places where I have paging in my applications. Just last week, I was on the phone with a client who asked me to look at a particular record. She told me it was the third page under "G" and I was able to go right to it. With an "endless page" approach, that wouldn't have worked.

I suspect that this approach will someday be very useful for some things, but it will be interesting to tease out where it is useful and where it isn't. The example that I saw was for blog entries. It worked very well there, but if I wanted to go back to see a blog entry from November I wouldn't be able to do so easily on an endless page. 


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