Preferences to show the number of items to display per page

25 Sep 2009 - 5:07am
6 years ago
2 replies
1320 reads
Janel Blattler

I have noticed several threads on pagination, but no mention of saving
a user's preference for the number of items to display per page.

In our application, a user can specify the default number of items to
display per page in their application preferences.

I feel this control is too hidden to be useful, so we have recently
introduced an additional control to set the items per page at the
list level. (Updating this does not affect the application

This means a user may have their application preferences set to
'show 25 items per page', they can also set the display on a
specific list to show a different number of items.

One of our developers thought it was confusing to enable changing the
number of items at the list view, without having this change also
update the application preferences.

Does anyone have experience in using both types of preferences?
Should changing this setting at the list view update the overall
application preferences?


27 Sep 2009 - 6:24pm

I haven't used both types before. But my opinion is that it
generally is not a good idea to show specific list to show different
number of items if the items in the list is changing constantly. For
example, logs.

If your goal is to have users quickly find items in a pagination
design, the best way I've found is to design a good filter/search
feature. A good filter design can help user identify exactly what
kind of list they want to see, and customize to their liking at
anytime. If you want to go even more advanced, you can allow user to
save their customize filter.

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Posted from the new

29 Sep 2009 - 4:56am

In 37signal's Getting Real book there is a great page titled "Avoid

"Decide the little details so your customers don't have to %u2014
preferences are a way to avoid making tough decisions"

Removing preferences also removes the need to design extra UI, test
additional code, and add additional perceived complexity to your

Perhaps a spot of testing with the users would reveal an optimal
per-page number that works for everyone regardless of the data view?

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Posted from the new

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