Paging DataTables? Think Twice.


This wasn’t my original opinion until I talked with a team member at work.  Funny how I don’t talk DataTables at the beach or while slogging beers at Medieval Times.  Anyway the problem, I thought, was…writing an efficient mechanism for paging through thousands of potential search results in this application I was working on.

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Is Paging what your users WANT?
Is paging what your users WANT?

But then, my teammate asks,”Have you ever LIKED paging through thousands of search results?” No. Can’t say that I have… In most cases where I have thousands of results, I would rather:

  • Crawl under a rock and drink more beer
  • Do a more detailed query to lesson the results
  • Sort the results based on certain criteria

Prettymuch ANYTHING but be stuck wondering,”Maybe if I click forward to page 57 it will be closer to the data I am looking for.”  So, the cosmic point here is…if you find yourself investing effort figuring out how to present a large amount of data to your users…maybe the FIRST thing to do is step back and make sure that’s what your users WANT to see. 

Cosmic, huh? Yeah, sometimes that 5 watt bulb burns bright for me.

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