Is there a generic term that applies to an area containing a previous and a next button? For context this is for selecting a date, previous moves to the previous day, next to the next day. But the buttons are pretty common in a lot of places in the current app I'm working on, not just for dates.

I thought of switcher, mover, navigator, but all of them are very generic and I think it would be clearer to just name is PreviousNext

  • Is it only arrows or text form? If text then, Forms or wizard do contain prev & next button.
    – NB4
    Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 7:56

3 Answers 3


Maybe you could reuse the term "Iterator" from Software Engineering, where it means

"... access the elements of a collection object in sequential manner without any need to know its underlying representation".

Similarly, your UI Iterators also are used to traverse elements sequentially while abstracting from the specific representation (date, image,...)

Source: https://www.tutorialspoint.com/design_pattern/iterator_pattern.htm

  • 1
    Thanks! Exactly what I was looking for. Don't know why I couldn't think of that.
    – James Hay
    Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 16:44

Previous and next buttons are navigation buttons on a website, an app. For just these two, I never saw a specific word used and I don't find a reason to separated the words in UX.

For example, I saw variables used for previous and next buttons in development and always is associated with navigation, but this is for others reasons (for example, in Wordress, posts_nav_link() displays both the Previous and Next links).


Depends on how generic of a term you are looking for, because an area containing a previous and next button could also include other controls as well.

Often previous and next buttons are often placed in an area for navigation controls (you can add area or region to define it as such), such as for a table or calendar or carousel. Even for onboarding screens in mobile applications where you move from one screen to another, but these can be placed or positioned in many different ways.

When the navigation is for a more fixed or defined type of display (which I think is the context you are referring to), the term pagination controls can also be used, but can also include elements other than previous and next buttons.

  • Ah yes, pagination might do it. I'm thinking specifically an area where there is only a previous and next button (they may be part of some larger control, but I'm looking for a name specifcally for that area). I was hoping there was a name that could specifically point out the fact that you're only moving one back or one forward, where as navigation, switcher, pagination etc feels like it would mean that you can navigate to a whole set of values. A single word for incrementer/decrementer would do it, Google is not helping :(
    – James Hay
    Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 3:36
  • @JamesHay It is actually not that common to see something on the interface that only lets you go forward and back, unless it is for a very small UI component like a carousel containing only very few elements (otherwise you can imagine it would be annoying to try and look through or find everything). Even for a calendar component you want something that can jump straight to specific months rather than only going forward or back. But yes, it would be good if there was a specific name for something like this. Perhaps a basic pagination/navigation?
    – Michael Lai
    Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 8:18

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.