Conversations ordering: oldest first or most recent first?


In the SecureDrop source interface the messages from the journalist are displayed most recent first, like so:

It is the opposite of what we usually see, for instance in this forum, where the oldest message is first and the most recent one is at the bottom of the page:

As a SecureDrop user, what do you prefer ?

  • Oldest message first
  • Most recent message first

0 voters


Having the oldest message first would be less confusing for users who are accustomed to messages being displayed with the oldest first which is probably the majority. However it should be noted that it requires an extra step from the source to see the most recent message: scrolling down to the bottom of the page. This is resolved by this forum because the user profile remembers the last message read in a thread and moves the user towards the end of the page when there is a new message. However, in the case of SecureDrop this information is not preserved server side (intentionally to minimize the metadata) and scrolling down to the most recent message is not an option.

Hi there! Voted for most recent first because I’m worried the user might miss a new message. It also makes sense since the message box is at the top of the page.

I wouldn’t object to having oldest messages first, but in that case maybe the message box would need to be at the bottom of the page, just like this forum? It’s just an idea, but having oldest messages first and a message box at the bottom seems both unfamiliar and inconsistent.

It is also important, imho, that the user can easily grasp the order of messages, and I’m not sure the location top-right part of the box is ideal. The eyes go back and forth between the message and the date, might be more efficient to have the two next to each other/ or one above the other. Just my two cents!