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My friend at Malmö University, André Mabande, wrote his Bachelor degree on the topic with the title Designing for Dialogue. He concludes that: The findings in this study seem to validate the hypothesis of the chronology as a major factor for generating a consistent discussion within a commenting field. When comments are shown in the order posted (i....


23

If you expect comments to be part of a conversation, then you should order them from oldest to newest (bottom posting). This follows reading direction, and is far easier to follow a series of related comments. Examples include this site's comments and Reddit. If you want to emphasise novelty over conversation, you should order comments from newest to ...


10

Forward chronological order lends itself well to finite amount of data that tells a story. Reverse chronological order lends itself well to (potentially) infinite amount of data that loses usefulness over time. For example, in Facebook, each post is listed in reverse chronological order, so you scroll back through history, but within each post the comments ...


5

Just label it Sometimes the best solution is the most obvious one. You can come up with all sorts of clever UI tricks to reinforce the sort order, but you're better off just spelling it out. Without thinking about it in great detail, I see two ways to make it obvious. Sort control If possible, allow the user to sort the list according to a handful of ...


5

Consider adding textual instruction and a visual indicator to the side of the table showing the time-based ordering of entries. I would also allow users to re-order entries within the table. Something like this: I think this approach ends up being the most effective if you must stick with your stated constraints (no date entry, low impact to screen real ...


4

I also had this issue on the latest product I worked on and being our most important area of the product we went ahead and had quite a few user interviews to study the behaviour. We came to the conclusion that our users were expecting the first item to be the one furthest in the future(10 face to face user interview and over 200 online selected from ...


3

Another way is to implement a way to upvote/downvote the comments, like here, reddit, disqus, and display the highest ranked posts first. It gives insightful comments more visibility. Youtube also display the two most upvoted comments (also regarding the age of the comment).


3

When in doubt, I find that thinking about how a feature would work in the physical world is a good clue to how the digital feature should work. In the calendar on page 1, it makes sense that the items in the future are below the current items, as this is how every calendar is designed. Both digital and paper calendars move left to right (in western cultures)...


2

When it comes to usability, you should keep in mind that there are some patterns which you shouldn't ignore or deviate from. The most common pattern used, when it comes to order status, is the one having the top item in the list being the furthest in the past. This is because the flow is finite (you start from ordering and you end at receiving your order). ...


2

I can think of two possibilities - first, you could flag (visually mark) updated posts within the stream to indicate that they have been updated: download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups Or you could use the update date of a post as the key in sorting the posts in chronological order (i.e., move them to the proper place as if ...


1

Since we are just 'borrowing' each others' ideas (great discussion by the way, and I think it really helped me to reach my own conclusions), this is what I think: Row labels: applying them is much clearer compared to just providing more text, which is at the point of need rather than right at the top or down at the bottom Move up/down controls: since the ...


1

OP said "the data fields were not for me to decide", which indicates to me some sort of failed process with their front-end and back-end devs... but for other folks looking at this problem, I think the best solution is to give calendar inputs to allow the user to enter dates. Or if you didn't want to allow for gaps in the dates, then you could just have one ...


1

You can use opacity and blur as the metaphor. See a very quick example: Since memories and past is always blurred (and future is unknown), it's relatively common to use the graphic blur as the metaphor you want to convey. This approach is used in some controls with the same effect: you can see the NOW, the future becomes uncertain, the past is blurred: ...


1

Always as a user my interest/reason to track my order would be the current status of it and for that reason i would always go with reverse chronological order. So for a user tracking an order is about knowing the present status of the order and not when it was ordered/shipped etc. Hope this helps.


1

It depends. If the app is about people that know each other (FB kind), then its a good idea to just limit the feed from the 'day they started following'. If its mostly strangers (Twitter kind), then you can have full feed visibility. Reason I say is, Person A could have said or written something about person B in the past and A might not like the idea of B ...


1

If your website is public and people are posting about things that are potentially controversial (such as, everything), then putting comments in chronological order gives people an incentive to get their opinion up very quickly and thereby secure the prime real estate at the top of the list, where it will remain forever. This encourages participation, but ...


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