Previous and Next navigation, when to use which one.

I recently wrote some code for the GetDeb site that would allow people to browse through the releases on the home page. Previously you would only see the latest 20 releases and that was it. To navigate I added two text links, Previous and Next, when ever necessary.

The project leader decided to change the logic of the previous and next by switching them around. It’s one of those things that I understand but I also don’t get.

As mentioned earlier the starting page on the GetDeb website shows the latest 20 releases and my logic behind the previous and next was that if you want to see older releases you would click on the previous link. I know WordPress works like this too. The previous button wills how you the older entries. To me it makes perfect sense but I can see how some people don’t really get the logic. You want to see the next page right, and when you are on that page and you want to see the the page you were just on you want to see the previous page.

I guess it’s one of those decisions that can go either way depending on how you look at the whole situation.

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  • That’s why I prefer to use “Older posts” and “Newer posts” on my site. The words “previous” and “next” can change meaning, depending on the context. You might think of them in terms of “the next page I haven’t seen yet” and “the previous page I was viewing before”. Which is often going to be the reverse of how they are being used in the navigation.

  • Peter

    It’s is definitely a solution that will be less confusion. Now on which side would you place the links?
    I always put “older posts” on the left and “newer posts” on the right.