How do you organize endless pages of content? Ideally, major sites like Google (in search results), Facebook (in your feed), or Reddit (on the front page) optimize their miles of content so you will click through twenty or more pages of links sometimes before reaching a point of actual satisfaction. However, users rarely deliver on that calling, even when the pages contain links they enjoy. Why? Usually because they feel intimidated.
Google only shows links for pages 1-10 that shifts as you click through. Reddit offers its ark of content through unassuming “next” and “prev” buttons. Facebook popularized the infinite feed of content when they switched to the timeline. Each of these approaches try to hide what I’m calling the “infinity factor” from users to keep your mouse clicking as long as possible.
Recently, I came across an inspiring new layout for infinite pages of content. Not surprisingly, it came from NotCot.org, the design blog brainchild of Jean Aw. Check out this setup.
Yup, those are links to pages. Give it a whirl.
Instead of hiding an infinite sea of pages, NotCot invites you to go swimming. The design is sturdy but playful. When I recently talked with Aw about the inspiration for the setup, she told me they use dots instead of page numbers because eventually the digits got too big to fit the minimal aesthetic. Concerning the temporary trail your mouse leaves, she added, “…the dots let me doodle much like those zen boards where you can paint with water and it fades away.”
She and Daniel Frysinger have worked on NotCot together since 2006. The site is a fine example of excellently curated content.