When a thread has many replies and goes to more than one page, there are links at the bottom of the first page that allow you to go back to the first (or any preceding page). Here's an example from another thread:
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If you get to the bottom of the page--or you start reading a thread with the latest post--you are right next to the directional links. If, however, you start scrolling back up to the top of the page and find that you want to go to the preceding page, there's nothing there to allow you to do so. You have to scroll all the way back down to the bottom of the page to find those links.
I can't tell you how many times I've checked progress on a long thread and find that I need to check one or two previous pages only to have to stress my wrists with more scrolling in order to get back to where I can go to those pages. The browser back button won't do, since it will only take me to the last page that I actually visited, which, in this scenario, is not a previous page in the thread.
Good point Paka, I agree.
While we're on the suggestion topic, how about Billy's idea to put the thread originator's name either instead of or in addition to the last person who posted? That would be fabulous!
ArtFire Studio & blog | Gallery
I wholeheartedly agree with both suggestions! If you look around at other forums, most all them include both suggestions.
Like jewlery and bead design, web design is difficult and the simplest faux pas can throw off the whole sha-bang. I spent 20 years as a web designer for Microsoft, so I know how difficult it is to get it right. LOL. But, from a usability perspective, having the Original posters name coupled with the thread title is imparative, as is navigation at the top and bottom of the page.