Improve your pagination’s usability

In short: pad your a elements liberally

A quick tip to improve the usability of your pagination: give your a elements a decent amount of padding.

We know clickability is an issue for seniors, but when it comes to the set of barely-separated-small-fonted numbers that so often comprise a website’s pagination, the increased click target area improves usability for everyone.

Bad examples of this abound—I’m sure I don’t need to point any out, as they constitute probably upwards of 90% of the pagination you encounter. Even Google isn’t great on this account (though you don’t often find yourself wanting to jump directly to page 8 of your search results).

Some decent examples of how to do it right can be found on this Smashing Magazine article (though even many of these could, I think, offer the user a bigger target), while a post from the 37signals blog (padded link targets for better mousing)  demonstrates fairly clearly some of the benefits of padding your links in the way I’m suggesting.

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