I started using the Careers site in the StackExchange group of sites and came to entering my list of publications. I had my initial set of 15 or so that have already been published. The list widget on the site adds each new one to the bottom of the list; because I wanted my latest to appear at the top I simply entered them in reverse chronological order.
The problem, though, arises with ongoing maintenance: when I later add a new article it appears at the end of the list. The only re-ordering controls are
move-down-one-slot (the faintly visible arrows at the right edge):
This has a number of issues. To add a new entry to the top of a list of 15 items, I must perform the
move-up-one-slot action 15 times after I add it. Worse yet, it is not 15 clicks in the same spot--each time I click, the item physically moves up the page (a reasonable thing to do in isolation) but then I have to move my mouse back to the tiny arrow on the now-relocated item. Repeat ad nauseam.
I posted a request on meta.stackoverflow.com (Enhance list re-ordering in careers with move-to-top and move-to-bottom controls) with suggestions to improve that user experience, though nothing has yet been done. In the meantime I began exploring for better ways to do this. One somewhat better approach is on Netflix. They associate an integer indicating list position with each item; the integer is in a text box that may be edited. So one could, for example, move item 5 to position 10 directly. (The neighboring items renumber themselves appropriately.) At least Careers is better than LinkedIn, which (to paraphrase a well-known quote on the Model T) will give you any order you want as long as it is insertion order!
So what other approaches to list re-ordering on a web page are out there? I should think the answer would depend on list length, so here is my arbitrary grouping:
- 5 to 10 items (drag-and-drop would be great)
- 10 to 25 items (I would still think drag-and-drop could work, mixed with some auto-scrolling)
- 25 to 50 items ??
- 50 to 100 items ??