Thanks for all your feedback regarding pagination. We have a new design that should address your primary concerns while maintaining speed across all Ning Networks.
Namely, this new design will call out the page number you are on, the total number of pages of content, and a Jump To page option. It will be implemented for all views of content other than comments on individual pieces of content. A mock of this is below:
Note, the final design could change from this but we wanted to show what we are working on!
The total page count will be approximate as we'll be optimizing that number with some caching. So, while there may actually be 203 pages of content, if the most recent number is cached at 202, that will display. Cache refreshes a couple times an hour.
This new design will be implemented this week and we'll post an update here as soon as we have a firm date and time for release.
I'm not sure well-designed icons require a learning curve. In fact, they're more universal than words. More to the point, the vast majority of internet users the world over should already be used to the icons being proposed here for previous/back and next/forward.
That said, if we end up having the words as well it's really not a big deal to me. I'm just happy with the improvement in the pagination itself.
So has a decision on the design of the pagination fix been reached yet? Will we get it as a Christmas present? Or will we hear, as we did with Thanksgiving, that Ning is "not planning any deployments over the holiday" and we will have to wait for January for this to be taken care of?
Yup, we're planning on implementing Clark's suggestion — previous/next links, including displaying the current page number and last page number. We're coding the changes this week, meaning it won't be released before Christmas.
Hey now... I like to think of it as the most usable design. :-)
Seriously, I'm in favor of the design that tests best. And for me that has been what I suggested. I honestly don't really care what it looks like. I'm from the WWJD? camp (What would Jakob (Nielsen) Do?) Information Architecture and usability DO matter more than sleek design to me.
Seriously, I'm in favor of the design that tests best.
So am I. You're speaking of that "test" that involved 5 people? All of whom were able to navigate from one page to the other, regardless of the design of the buttons, correct?
Isn't the conclusion that Next and Previous buttons are "better" (because they are used more often) somewhat overlooking the fact that the buttons are also larger, thus more conspicuous and easier for people to click on? A large arrow, taking up the same amount of space, might yield the same results, wouldn't you say? Have you tested or statistically compensated the results for that?
If we want to use tests as a basis for making decisions, let's at least make proper tests and reach proper conclusions from the results of those tests. I'm sure Jakob Nielsen would agree with me on that.
No matter how much we talk about testing ... it appears that the powers that be here are not going to do the kind of testing that you and Knaldskalle are tussling over. In the realm of what the NING folks will do, it would be best if we stopped talking about different parameters in case they take up the thread and delay further. Testing or not testing is not what got us into this. It was a decision that NING made based on their interior discussions. Had they asked the community creators what they wanted prior to making the change, this all could have been avoided in the first place.
It truly comes down to customer service. You and I want to provide the best customer service to our members of our respective sites.
I am tired of explaining to my members that we don't know when the change will come that will make our sites easily navigable again.
I'm not trying to one up you or get involved in a long discussion of who is wrong or who is right. We all have our opinions here.
Mine is - enough, already. Give us back our pagination.