Pagination vs Infinite Scroll

We all know that infinite scroll is the hotness 🔥. We are so familiar with this pattern from our copious hours of training from our favorite social media apps. So if infinite scroll is the new new, can we safely kill off pagination? Is this pattern already dead? If not, why not?

Pagination 📖

Books traditionally have a table of contents menu. The Christian Bible has page numbers, chapters, and verses for lightning-quick reference.

Pros 👍

“With pagination, there is a beginning and an end. People can anticipate the effort required to scan the page. There is a happy sense of completion when a page is reviewed. Pagination gives people control to decide whether or not to continue to the next page. The choices on smaller pages are easier to evaluate because fewer options feel less overwhelming.”
- Nielsen Norman Group

Cons 👎

Infinite scroll ♾️

Pros 👍

Cons 👎

“Endless scrolling is not recommended for goal-oriented finding tasks, such as those requiring people to locate specific content or compare options.”
- Nielsen Norman Group
“locating a previously found item on an extremely long page is inefficient, especially if that item is placed many scrolling segments down.”
- Nielsen Norman Group

TLDR, Which one do I need? ⚖️

Q: Are you hunting down a specific result or comparing results?
A: Pagination

Q: Are you casually browsing content?
A: Infinite scroll

Q: Are you designing for a mobile device?
A: More likely infinite scroll

Further reading 📚

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