ASK DN: Which one? Newer/Older or Older/Newer?

almost 8 years ago from , Design/Development @ Twilio.

I keep running into this problem with blog navigation. I've decided that using Newer & Older instead of Next & Previous is better for time-sensitive content. But which order makes more sense?

On one hand, since the back button points left, I can see older content being to the left. On the other hand, if I'm visualizing all the content laid out horizontally, I naturally think in terms of Newer to Older going from left to right.

Does it really matter as long as it's clearly labelled? Of course, your language's writing direction probably plays a big role in what feels natural, too. Any thoughts?


  • Account deleted almost 8 years ago

    Just my opinion, but don't get hung up on the the back button arrow's direction. When you hit the button, content does not generate from either side of your browser and "slide in". There is no preconceived notion of the content's origin other than the page itself is replaced with the old content in the same place the existing one resided.

    In horizontal sites, I've seen them take this more literally obviously, where the newest content is the farthest "left"... with older content scaling out to the right... almost a reverse timeline.

    As long as it's intuitive and clearly labeled, I wouldn't worry what the connotation of the back button arrow means to the content within it. I'd focus completely on the UX within the browser container. Think of it like a TV... arrows in an ad can mean their own thing independent of arrows for volume/channel on TV itself.

    1 point
  • Tierney CyrenTierney Cyren, almost 8 years ago

    In my experience, going by the standards of English reading is best - content flows from left to right in a linear way - page 1, page 2, page 3. The newest comes first, the oldest is where the story finishes with "The End". This is a practice that will feel natural to just about anyone in the US, UK, Canada, Aus., and many European countries.

    0 points