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I have an app that displays a series of animation frames as thumbnails in a row from left to right. Should I display this from right to left if the device is set to use a right-to-left language? There aren't any text elements displayed on the timeline. In other words, does "right" usually mean "earlier" and "left" usually mean "later" to an RTL user? Or does it vary from culture to culture?

I found this question which is similar, but the answer specifically refers to the convention for displaying numerals and bases the answer on that, I'm talking about a completely text-free UI element.

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Yes, you should definitely mirror them as well. In fact there are plenty of things to make sure you RTL (verb) if you're targeting Right-To-Left users with your app/website/etc.. We had a similar layout in Gallery App in Firefox OS and we've made sure to mirror that correctly. OTOH, I wrote 2 articles on Mozilla Hacks that can answer your question in detail and many more.

Part 1: https://hacks.mozilla.org/2015/09/building-rtl-aware-web-apps-and-websites-part-1/

Part 2: https://hacks.mozilla.org/2015/10/building-rtl-aware-web-apps-websites-part-2/

We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

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    You haven't really said why you should RTL here. It may be in the links you provided, but the links should be used as citations with the actual relevant content transcribed within the answer itself. After all, this is a Question and Answer site, not a Question and Related Link site. – JonW Jan 11 '16 at 9:33

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