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I have often found myself "lost" on site where I browse to older articles / post . What elements is the minimum required to prevent this. Focus solely on this navigation and disregard other elements like breadcrumbs at top and title etc.

Here are some examples: First two images are from same site. As you can see there is only a arrow going left, assuming user understands it as going back. Is this due to concept of western society books, turn page right to go forwards? Homepage Next Page

Better example from Engadget with description

Engadget

This type of description confuses me the most, what is the next page? Am I going to older pages p?1 -> p?2 or is it the newer page

Techcrunch

Looking forward to you answer. Please advise me if my question or description is not specific enough.

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closed as unclear what you're asking by rk., 3nafish, ChrisF, msanford, Matt Obee Aug 19 '13 at 8:12

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Easiest way to make it clear which navigation is to 'older' content and which is to 'newer' content? Mark them "Older" and "Newer"

Regarding the direction of arrows, it most likely stems from browser functionality - the 'back' button is left-facing and 'forward' is right-facing, and each function to move the user back or forward through their page history (ergo, the site navigation buttons also move back and forward through history).

The discrepency comes about because we often mark the "front" (newest) page as page 1, and older pages 2, 3, 4 etc. This creates a bit of a conflict - we expect the left-facing arrow to show an older page, but at the same we catch ourselves expecting the number to go lower, which can cause a momentary confusion. It doesn't help, of course, that sites aren't consistent in this design, but left-for-older seems to be the more common option (in my experience).

But as first stated, the easiest way to eradicate any confusion is to clearly label them. "Older" and "Newer" do the trick

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But blogs are reverse chronological and as such the older link belongs on the right and the newer link on the left. Once you realize that their link order is the same as the paging on a SERP. –  Dan D. Aug 15 '13 at 16:57
    
After checking a few of my favourite blogs, it seems you're right. If that doesn't highlight the potential confusion, nothing will :) –  Kai Aug 16 '13 at 9:16

This type of description confuses me the most, what is the next page? Am I going to older pages p?1 -> p?2 or is it the newer page

I have seen a few news websites implement a similar system as I have included below. Buttonizing a brief name and a date, along with an indication that it's "Older".

It's not as compact as some other options, but this could certainly fold out / appear on mouseover - possibly with only "Older" at first, with the information appearing.

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

It's a bit more work, but for users with concerns as to what exactly they're about to browse to.

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