Why chat and comments should be newest on top. ~ From real world use
So when I started my social network Twii I had a choice to make, make messages and comments bottom flow like on FB and most sites or follow the feed flow new items up. So I decided to go with the newer items on top, both for easy management of code but also so your not flipping and scrolling users to see new items in a conversation.
Wait? Is it not hard to follow?
Yes and no. It is if the content is static and requires refresh to see new content OR does not update really quick, but as the site uses a LIVE update system it works better to have it top down.
The idea is to push the OLD content out of the way for new content, just like feeds do on Twitter, Facebook, G+, and Twii. You expect the new content to be on the top of the page and the first thing you see, why not with comments. Do you want to jump into a conversation because of the first few comments on the top of the page when you find out that it has changed completely as time went on?
Making the new comments and messages the first thing someone sees is important as that is what will catch there attention and make them want to read the older messages/comments or to jump into the conversation based on recent content.
When conversations in chat or as comments on a post happen people get cant tell if they are in a chat or just using a comment system because it’s all live. Sometimes posts can have 70+ comments in only a few hours. Nobody want’s to read all of it to see what was last said. But this is only opinion, there is no correct answer.
“You can consider your feed as a bottomless pit. You keep on scrolling and scrolling, discovering posts, images, etc. and see no visible ending. Whenever you know there is content below the fold, you are curious to see what is there, here, in the feed, we have an ending below the fold content. And the content is (hopefully) engaging enough to keep the user hooked. Now, if you designed a bottom up newsfeed, you can argue for the same cause, but does it feel natural to you? Endless top scrolling?” ~ rk.
With all the users on the site, and the chat and comments showing new on top there have only been a few people ask why it’s in this order, and every one was alright with it “It’s so the newer items are on top, comments are live and can host a conversation on a subject (the post) with many users at once, new messages and comments on top slides old ones out of the way.”.