Twitter's official clients on some platforms (iOS, OSX) invert the scroll direction when reading DMs and @replies from a specific person. Is this the best UX in your opinion, or is it just confusing? How should it work?

When reading public tweets, or looking at a list of people who have DM or replied to you, the latest message appears at the top. This model is followed on the Twitter website for DMs and @replies.

On iOS and OSX, when viewing the most recent DMs or @replies from a specific person the latest message appears at the bottom. This differs from the rest of the UI but is familiar from IRC/IM/whatever chat: read top to bottom.

I can understand the arguments for both approaches, but for me it seems like there's a disconnect in the interface when the approach is inverted dependent on platform [1] and app screen.

Discuss :)

[1] I don't know how Twitter behaves on other platforms, but on my Android device's client (presumably official because it has a proper Twitter logo), @replies and DMs are latest-at-top.

3 Answers 3


I think its good UI but bad UX.

When you are reading DM it makes sense to have them on the bottom. However, the DM page is part of a larger app and as UX goes the users will be confused. It's so easy to forget we are not designing for ourselves. I have to remind myself daily.

  • Thanks - your reply has at least helped me understand the difference between UI and UX :) May 4, 2011 at 1:13

I think it's terrible and it confuses me every time. It's a glaring violation of internal consistency principles.


I've always wished this behavior was configurable. But since @replies do function like most email clients, so I think the current implementation works.

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