我們是否需要為目錄結構提供分頁?


1

在典型的Web UI中,通常為列表提供分頁。但是,我想知道為諸如目錄結構之類的樹結構提供分頁是否有意義,因為它可能包含文件以及其他目錄。

我的困境是我們要合併兩個不同的實體,即目錄和文件以顯示此列表。此外,目錄等效於文件容器。每次我們進入目錄時,上下文都會更改,並且顯示的頁面與當前目錄相關。這意味著導航到最內部目錄的用戶必須能夠切換到其父目錄的任何頁面,並且這可能需要顯示多個分頁行。

例如:

文件夾A>文件夾B>文件夾C>文件夾D

文件夾D:1 2 3 4

文件夾C:1 2 3 4 5 6 7

文件夾B: 1 2 3 4

文件夾A:1 2 3 4 5

1

It doesn't seem you need a pagination control: most traversing of a tree can be done with loading more instances as the user scrolls to the bottom of the viewport.

Is there anything to be gained from the pagination, or is this because of implementation? What are users looking to do here?

An alternative: Invest in reducing the foraging costs by more robust search and filters.

You might gain more value by giving users:

  • more powerful search
  • filtering capabilities (file types, file owner, date ranges for creation)
  • an ability to 'pin' resources
  • a way to view recently accessed resources

These features save users time and cognitive costs by allowing them to access files as quickly as possible.

Breadcrumbs will be valuable for showing users where they are in the hierarchy, and are standard in applications like Box, Dropbox, and Google Drive where large amounts of files and folders mix together freely at multiple levels.


1

Sorry to be so direct: No, you should not combine hierarchy and pagination in this way. Both are difficult to use by themselves (although they are ubiqitious).

Why do we use pagination instead of scrolling: This is an implementation hack, invented for web pages, to reduce the traffic required to load the page, and thus speed up time to first interaction. Pagination does not originate in the user's mental model, it's a technical workaround for a technical problem (limited bandwidth).

Directory hierarchies are a technical construct as well. Although they are also called "folders", they are drastically different from folders, which in reality can never be recursive (folders containing folders containing folders... you get it). It is an easy way to organize the data bytes in this way, but it places the burden of organization and recall on the user.

If you want to stick to these technical workaround, use breadcrumbs to represent the directory hierarchy, and pagination to represent the list of files in the current directory, separately.

If you want to serve your users better, get rid of the directory hierarchy altogether, and use a tagging system and a powerful search (in line with Mike M's answer). Tagging a document, instead of filing the document in a specific folder, has the added advantage that several tags can be assigned to the document, while a document can only be saved in one folder. Then, make the file/folder structure invisible to the user.

You might want to read Alan Cooper's "About Face 3" for more about implementation models vs. mental models, and the file/folder structure shortcomings.