A popular (and annoying) approach to delivering news articles online is to split the content into a bajillion pages, forcing you to click and load page after page to read the full article. The goal, of course, it to increase pageviews. After all…
More Pageviews = More Ad Impressions = More Money
Or at least that’s what they’re hoping. In my case, excessive pagination (defined as pretty much anything more than one page) in the absence of an option to view the article as a single page means that I’ll just close the window and go elsewhere.
And guess what? I’m not the only one who hates this practice.
According to Slate’s Farhad Manjoo, splitting articles into multiple pages is an “evil” practice that should be abandoned. He goes on to argue that:
“Pagination is one of the worst design and usability sins on the Web […] It shows constant, quiet contempt for people who should be any news site’s highest priority — folks who want to read articles all the way to the end.”
Note that Slate does paginate long articles, but only for rather lengthy pieces and they also offer a ‘single page’ option. Yes, this still forces an extra click, but it seems like a reasonable compromise. And yes, Farhad’s article is paginated, but the second page only contains a snarky postscript — presumably just to prove his point.
Protip: If a site doesn’t have a ‘single page’ link, look for a link to the print view. The printable version — if it exists — is typically formatted as a single, continuous page. Or use something like Instapaper. Both of these approaches also strip out a lot of the visual noise.
As for me, I’ll never paginate my content. All articles will continue to be presented on a single page regardless of length. The only possible exception will be for articles with huge numbers of comments, which can degrade site performance. In such cases I might paginate the comments, but never the content.
Sure, I use a “Click to continue reading” link to truncate articles on the front page, but that’s different. The front page is designed to be easily scannable, sort of a table of contents. Once you hit an article, it’s all there in its full glory.
And now… Here are some articles that caught my eye this past week:
- The Value of Having a Brain Trust – To the extent that your peer group lifts you up or holds you back, you should seek to surround yourself with excellence.
- CDs vs. Bond Funds – An argument in favor of using CDs as an alternative to bonds in a low rate environment. As always, run the numbers.
- The False Allure of Compound Interest –Speaking of running the numbers… When projecting the future, you need to be careful about your assumptions.
- How Should I Count [Something] In My Asset Allocation? – This is a common question and I’m afraid that there isn’t a universal answer.
- Get Ready for Water as a Market Commodity – Will the water supply ultimately be privatized and traded as a commodity?
That’s it. I hope you’re have a great weekend!
P.S. There’s a new $100 bill coming in October, complete with numerous new security features. In other words, you’re counterfeiting days will soon be over. 😉