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20

I saw a presentation by Sean Kane from Netflix a few years ago, in which he described how the DVD queue works. You should study it if you can (if you have an account or know someone who does). A couple of points to note: He said the default move cursor didn't test very well, so they switched to a grab cursor, as suggested by GoodEnough. The drag-and-drop ...


16

I made a demo solution with CSS3. The Salary column is in ascending sorted status and the Bonus column is in descending one. I commit the work to github at horiontal-tight-table-sorter-css3. You can have a quick review of the html page here htmlpreview horiontal-tight-table-sorter-css3. For the sake of the demo, I only tested it on Chrome. Hope this ...


15

When your values are on a nominal scale (names without an inherent order except alphabetical - e.g. "phones; appliances; laptops"), it makes more sense to filter, because sorting is basically meaningless - they have no real order. The exception to this is when you have a very large number of different values, which aren't repetitive, e.g. Names. In that case ...


13

I've used a little "grippable" texture on stuff to show that it's draggable. Here's Gmail's texture:


13

There is a standard icon of three horizontal lines one on top of the other that implies items can be dragged and dropped. It implies "friction" or "handle" and is a bit similar to the diagonal lines in the bottom right corner of windows or text boxes that allows resizing them.


12

I prefer comments to be in chronological order and threaded. That way, when comments turn into conversations - and they often do, those are easy to follow. Any other order of comments makes it impossible, or at least very hard. Newest on top means you have to go down to see what is being responded to. And if you decide to start at the bottom, you are ...


9

The move cursor is commonly used with dragable items in web apps. css: cursor:move;


8

The convention is to have an upward arrow for ascending lists and a downward arrow for descending lists. It doesn’t work. In usability testing I’ve done, users are evenly split on whether my name ends up at the top or bottom of the list no matter which arrow you show. Part of the problem is there is just something cognitively weird about an upward arrow ...


8

Vertical lists are much easier to scan than horizontal lists, because all items are aligned to the same line, so when you're looking for an item, you don't need to read the entire word - you can quickly scan the first letters and get directly to the item you need. See how much less time it takes you to locate items beginning with P on Craigslist (within a ...


8

I think the problem is you need to define your success criteria. You say that you want to get the most "interesting" results at the top of the list. So how do you define this? Maybe you should look at how many people click how many of the top 10 results, if "clicking on a video" is a good enough definition of "interesting". If your definition is that they ...


8

I think adding a progress-tracker would be a good way to guide the user to complete the 3 step process. Check out the mockup below. When the page loads up all the steps in the progress tracker would be grey. But as the user selects an option under each list, the selected value can be displayed right above the list with some sort of indication that it's ...


7

First an observation rather than a solution... A multicolumn sort on 'Bid', 'Ask', 'Last' can be achieved by immediate single column sorts, first on 'Last', then on 'Ask', then on 'Bid'. So a stable single column sort is actually enough to achieve any desired sort. To help users discover this, it could be enough to have a show/hide button for instructions ...


6

Netflix combines three methods in their queue. You can drag-and-drop, but also specify a particular row number, or click to move it to the very top: What I find interesting about their approach is that they have put the "Top" icon (circled in green) right there on each row, as opposed to requiring the user to make a selection and then click somewhere at ...


6

I suggest you use the little gripping hand (open when hovering, closed while dragging). Have some sort of gripping icon (a handle) that looks like something that can be grabbed (in Gmail it's a pair of dot columns (4 dots per column). I would also suggest that you add a little animation showing the behavior to new users (or existing users if it's a new ...


6

That's a timely question. Jakob Nielsen just wrote that alphabetical sorting must (mostly) die. He provides guidelines for when you should use alphabetical sorting (the names are known and unambiguous) and when you should avoid it (the names aren't known or some other inherent logic would work better). If alphabetical makes sense for the most part, but the ...


6

If you have nothing else to guide a sorting order, alphabetic makes the most sense. At the very least it creates an affordance for repeated use, where people will likely recall the name of a previously used menu item before learning the position, and if they're asked to select an item from that menu by documentation or another person, they'll be able to find ...


6

There was a great article about this a couple of years ago that found that filtering/sorting are the same thing to a lot of users. There is a strong mental model of "filtering by sorting". The Mystery of Filtering by Sorting by Greg Nudelman: "The ostensible need to visually separate sort controls from filtering controls is a myth." So I think you ...


6

To be a bit simplistic, the more orderly the layout seems, the more the order has meaning to users. Masonry-style brick layouts, to varying degrees, subvert traditional orthographic order. I would suggest that this subversion is intentional, and this subversion accounts for the charm of these interfaces. The layouts are unpredictable, and I am ...


5

The use cases for each are different. Filtering: Use this when you have a large result set and you want to narrow it down by some criteria. Example: Show me all laptops between $500 - $700; Hide all products containing peanuts. Sorting: This is when you may not want to narrow your search criteria but simply sort it. Example: Sort by most recent on top; ...


5

Your options for sorting things are as follows: Frequency of use, with more frequent items at the top. This is often a good choice even when all items are visible at once. With a drop down, you know the mouse is initially at the drop down arrow, so this puts the most frequent choices closer to the mouse for faster selection, consistent with Fitts Law. This ...


5

These all have their own uses, it depends on what content you have and how you want users to find content that determins which should be used. Using all of them will certianly be confusing, as all of these are variations on the same theme. Highest Rating If voting or reviewing is important to your content, this is a great way to go. However it's also ...


5

It's a tradeoff. Chronological order is better for readability of threads, worse for diminishing the value of comments from latecomers, and for enabling early-bird campers to permanently stamp their agenda on the page. This sums the first readability problem up neatly (credit: someone's forum signature, I forget where): They break the natural flow of a ...


5

In general it is always descending. But for forecast, it is best to use ascending. Simply because forecast always means future, so always have date from now to the future. If you see weather forecast it is also ascending link. If you look at the stock market, it always shows dates in ascending order. If you think of 2020, I would suggest instead of giving ...


5

The human brain and a computer algorithm work quite differently. Your assumption that it should be easier to start in the middle of a list is wrong. In those cases you would first need to figure out what the middle point of your list was. Then you would need to figure out whether the item you are searching for would be above or below this middle point. ...


5

And if it has maximum of 30 items and all of them are visible why you just not place an action at the end of the list and add an ability to quickly reorder the list? So, position of the new item will be obvious. And you can keep the selection untouched in this case.


5

A possible solution would be to show where the row landed by scrolling the entire table up or down after the edit is complete, then showing a highlight around the position of the new location. Nothing that would last very long, just enough time that the user can locate where it went. This would require some animation and scroll hijacking, but I like the use ...


4

Displaying a "grip" pattern at one side of the item, combined with the "move" cursor is fairly obvious to moderately savvy users. Up/Down arrows are an option too, but that obviously falls short of powerful when you can only move one position at a time.


4

In situations where there are no columns you could choose either a dropdown on the top right that says 'order by:', or, like stackexchange does, define some predefined sortings and provide them in a tab-like manner.


4

With the arrows icon, I've seen that some people just don't bother about the ascending/descending meaning. They take a two-step approach: (1) click the column they want to sort on to sort on the right column; (2) change the sort order if necessary by clicking again. Give your new icons a chance, and test them. Out of context they look a bit like volume ...


4

I'd try to avoid the arrows, because it is unclear what they should mean. Instead, I would only use the increasing/decreasing bar widths: options a or b without arrows.



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