I've been developing mobile apps using sencha touch for quite a time now. In that, whenever a new view is to be loaded, default animation direction is from Right-to-Left. This can be seen in android when starting new Activities too (older versions like 2.2,2.3).

So my question is, what's significance of loading new view from animating R2L and poping a view out of navigation view with L2R animation direction ?

What I can guess is, it gives user a feel of going next step from previous step with R2L animation. And when going back it gives feel of coming to previous step again with L2R animation. What are your thoughts ?

3 Answers 3


I agree with Sam Blake. Some more observations that make the new panels appear on the right include

  • Magazines and books where new page appears on the right. When you flip the right page to read the left page, logically it still lies on the right side of your current position.
  • New Tabs in the browsers open on the right which are technically new windows.
  • Standard for "Next Arrow" is --> and if any of your action is helping your user proceed towards his/her goals, he would expect them to appear on the right of his current window.

So it is pretty safe to make the new pages appear from the right side.


This is similar to a question asked earlier today: Why are nested elements scrolled to the opposite direction?

As in that case, the significance of the convention of animating right-to-left is consistent with the conceptual model of going left-to-right as you progress.

I expect further that this is based on left-to-right reading conventions in many (particularly English-speaking) cultures. If you were developing an application for a right-to-left language (typically a Semitic language like Arabic or Hebrew), you'd want the animations to play in the opposite direction.

Source: I used to work on Windows UI, so I'm all too familiar with the shambling night-horror that is bi-directional UI development.

  • nice point to mention reading conventions.. guess this has been considered. Feb 19, 2013 at 19:25

Westerners process visual information left to right and new visual information is more quickly perceived when it appears on the right. You have to implement this carefully though, as the simple answer R-to-L is not the whole story. Much more important than the direction is what is this entirely new view in the whole scheme of the app. Your current view detail is forgotten almost entirely (gone from short-term memory) when a new view is presented. Users resent unnecessary switching of views.

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