Lukas Mathias on scrolling vs pagination in ebooks:

If I’m reading a novel, the experience I’m having should be the book’s story unfolding in my head, not my fingers scrolling the page every few seconds. In this case, good UX design means not interfering with the actual experience the user is having: the book’s story.

Pagination gets out of the way. Read a page. Push a button. Read the next page. Repeat. No needless interference with the actual text being read, no unnecessary interactions that could pull the reader out of the book’s world.

I agree with his point but not his argument. In a reading app, the interface should be as invisible as possible to allow the reader to be enveloped by the story. But to me, pagination causes a lot more interference than scrolling does. He forgot a few steps: Read a page, push a button, wait for the text to refresh, move the focus of your eyes to the top of the page, then read the next page.

On the other hand, when I read in an app like Instapaper using scrolling, the scrolling itself becomes invisible. My finger starts acting subconsiously, moving the text little by little at the same speed as I'm reading, so that the reading process is totally uninterrupted. My eyes never have to move vertically.

Posted
AuthorConnor Graham