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Suppose I open up a web site and near the bottom there's a pager to navigate trough a list of items which is presorted and ordering cannot be changed. What approach do you think will be better ([this] is the current page):

[42] 41 40 39 ... 1

or

[1] 2 3 ... 42 

I personally see this as follows: when paging "in reverse" (first variant) content of each page effectively remains the same all the time and once it's visited it will always be displayed as a visible link in a browser.

Latter, however, is much more widespread and therefore more familiar.

What are your opinions on these two options?

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3 Answers

If you are going to use page numbers, then you should be displaying them in the order that users are expecting to see them; i.e. starting with 1. If you start with the last page number, all you are bound to do is confuse your users.

It doesn't really matter if the content on your specific "index" pages remain the same over time. For search engines, they should just be following the links on those pages (and not indexing the content) so it doesn't matter which page has which links as long as the links are there.

For users, it doesn't matter what page a link is on because people rarely (if ever) bookmark links to index pages, they bookmark the content pages themselves. Page numbers for pages like this are more of a mechanism for the user during their current session. It gives them a return point after reading an article, nothing more.

Also, if you provide the ability to sort content in multiple ways, the content on a given page will change anyways, so again, just having the paging start with 1 is going to make the most sense.

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I don't see a reason why you should find yourself on the last page of a website when you first open the website. According to this logic, you should also scroll down to the bottom of the page, since that's probably the last line that was written, if it's a text page.

A distinction must be made between the container (the pages) and the content (items). Your items may be sorted in any order you like - for example, latest first. But the pages of the website are the same as pages in a book, they always go from first to last. You can have the last item on the first page, but wouldn't you be surprised if you opened a book and it started on page 200? That's actually the whole idea of sorting - keeping the order of containers fixed, and just changing the order in which content occupies those containers.

As to the fact that the content stays the same and displaying the link - I didn't understand what it has to do with the page order. Seems to me that it's equally true for both options.

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Latest item added to the list should be visible on the list. Therefore, reverse ([42][41]..) paging would be better.

Infact, the order of items depends on customer needs, then paging should be used according to customer's aim...

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