Imagine a simple messenger app. Where to place the first message(s) in a chat? See examples below.

A or B in a messenger

E.g. Slack, Facebook's Messenger does it the A way. Snapchat, WhatsApp does it the B way.

I'd argue the B way is more correct due to F reading pattern, however, can someone shed me some light on this?

2 Answers 2


It might be related to bottom/top posting. If users are conditioned to look above the text input for the latest response, aligning to the bottom (example A) would make it more consistent.

If 95% of a user's chats have enough messages in them to scroll, then it might be weird to start a new chat and see the first few messages aligned to the top (example B).

I don't think it's a big deal either way, there doesn't seem to be any standardization on this yet.

  • 2
    +1 For "not a big deal". Both methods are usable.
    – PhillipW
    Mar 31, 2021 at 8:19

F-shaped reading pattern is observed in text scanning applied when reading regular web-content like pages or articles.

For chat and messaging applications the timeline of posts may follow a different flow (see top- snd bottom-posting).

So the scan for new posts pattern applied by users might also expect the newly typed message to directly bubble up like a balloon above the text input field. This would also mean a shorter distance for the eyes. Reading starts at the input field (bottom) and after submission the focus moves slightly atop to the last recently posted message.

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