Support » Requests and Feedback » Next and Previous Links are Reversed

  • I’ve seen this talked about before, a while back, but cannot find the thread. Is it me or do more people find the default arrangement of the “next entry” and “previous entry” backward?

    I saw the argument used that the logic is based on a browser’s back and forward buttons. If that were the case then the default arrangement would be switched.

    When one opens a browser and the home page loads, the forward and back buttons are grayed out. When you click a link within the page that leads you elsewhere, the left (forward) button becomes active. This button is there to get you back to the future, the point you originally started at. The page you are on at the moment is the past. The same should go for a blog. When you arrive at a blog’s index page, read to the bottom and encounter the “previous entries, it’s seems logical to have the chevron (ยป) pointing to the right instead the left.

    Any other opinions?

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  • Well, not so “logical”…
    Centuries before the browser (and the Internet) has been invented the Western cultures – based on the Greek-Roman inheritance developed a thinking pattern based on linearity. It has been influenced by our left-to-right writing system(s) and the way we perceive the time: as a linear continuum going from the past through present into the future.
    Do a small “social” experiment: ask anybody to draw a horizontal line and to put the events of the last week and next week on that line… everybody will have the past on the left and going forward to the future toward right ๐Ÿ™‚

    So, for me, having the “past” entries on the left – somehow makes sense.

    I definitely agree with that logic. Maybe past and future don’t make my argument very clear. I bring this up because so often I have found it unintuitive when using this navigation structure. I’m always clicking the wrong link. Maybe thinking about it in terms of a book. You start at the first page and then navigate to the right to get to the next page that the first page has lead you to. For me, on a blog, the same relationship exists.

    It could also be in the semantics. Next equals newer to me and previous equals older. Thus making my original argument more sound.

    It is all very tricky though. I will do your experiment. I want to try it on someone who’s first language is Hebrew as they read from right to left.

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