[Home] (Articles) [Products] [Services]

Table Sorting

Table sorting buttons are at once a source of great pleasure and annoying consternation.

Table Sorter

We are pleased by the power they grant but glimpse the possibilities of so much more. The use of a column header as a sort button was a brilliant innovation. Almost no additional screen real estate is consumed but the user is given an efficient and intuitive way to sort information. We just wish there were a way to do a sort based on multiple columns. Perhaps there could be a set of little arrows (instead of just one), each with a tiny number associated. Not every application would benefit from this added complexity but it would be nice if an API at least provided the functionality.

Some people suggested that columns be sorted sequentially and that column rearrangement be used as a means of re-ordering rows. One more inventive reader suggests:

From: Jesse Ruderman Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 2004 1:26 AM To: info@jshift.com Subject: table_sort.asp

...

Sorting based on multiple columns doesn't need to be visible in the UI. Sorting by one column and then sorting by another column should just keep the first column as a secondary sort key.