On a site with a vertical scrolling layout where images are displayed one below the other, and clicking an image opens a Modal box to display it in a bigger view, navigation to the next and previous images should be left/right or up/down?

Page layout

Left Right navigation

Up Down navigation

In my experience it is common that pages use the left/right solution.

Why is left/right solution widely used rather than up/down which would respond to the actual display of the images in the page layout?

1 Answer 1


The modal doesn't need to mimic the layout of the underlying page. Because it's more natural for people to read left-to-right in the western world. The pattern follows horizontal motion reading patterns.

  • Instinctively it looks natural. I guess my doubt is why it doesn't need to mimic the underlying layout?
    – Alvaro
    Commented Nov 10, 2016 at 14:47
  • Oh, wait, that's interesting. I misunderstood the original post. Now I would say it would be better to use the up and down arrows because it would follow the vertical scrolling motion.
    – Miklos
    Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 22:43

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