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If you cannot use arrows or a separate drop-down menu for sorting, the simplest thing you can do is, make the labels clickable. Make the labels look like hyperlinks. And when the user clicks the label, they can 'discover' that it does sorting. It is bad usability in terms of understanding the functionality, but, you can atleast give them the visual cue to click the label.

mockupmockup

download bmml sourcedownload bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

Edit: You can make it a bit clearer by either changing the text of the label on-hover, to something understandable like 'Sort' OR you can use Gildas's idea and overlay the sorting icon there.

In conclusion, draw in the user by the hyperlink visual cue and signal the action when in context.

If you cannot use arrows or a separate drop-down menu for sorting, the simplest thing you can do is, make the labels clickable. Make the labels look like hyperlinks. And when the user clicks the label, they can 'discover' that it does sorting. It is bad usability in terms of understanding the functionality, but, you can atleast give them the visual cue to click the label.

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

Edit: You can make it a bit clearer by either changing the text of the label on-hover, to something understandable like 'Sort' OR you can use Gildas's idea and overlay the sorting icon there.

In conclusion, draw in the user by the hyperlink visual cue and signal the action when in context.

If you cannot use arrows or a separate drop-down menu for sorting, the simplest thing you can do is, make the labels clickable. Make the labels look like hyperlinks. And when the user clicks the label, they can 'discover' that it does sorting. It is bad usability in terms of understanding the functionality, but, you can atleast give them the visual cue to click the label.

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

Edit: You can make it a bit clearer by either changing the text of the label on-hover, to something understandable like 'Sort' OR you can use Gildas's idea and overlay the sorting icon there.

In conclusion, draw in the user by the hyperlink visual cue and signal the action when in context.

2 added 298 characters in body
source | link

If you cannot use arrows or a separate drop-down menu for sorting, the simplest thing you can do is, make the labels clickable. Make the labels look like hyperlinks. And when the user clicks the label, they can 'discover' that it does sorting. It is bad usability in terms of understanding the functionality, but, you can atleast give them the visual cue to click the label.

mockupmockup

download bmml sourcedownload bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

Edit: You can make it a bit clearer by either changing the text of the label on-hover, to something understandable like 'Sort' OR you can use Gildas's idea and overlay the sorting icon there.

In conclusion, draw in the user by the hyperlink visual cue and signal the action when in context.

If you cannot use arrows or a separate drop-down menu for sorting, the simplest thing you can do is, make the labels clickable. Make the labels look like hyperlinks. And when the user clicks the label, they can 'discover' that it does sorting. It is bad usability in terms of understanding the functionality, but, you can atleast give them the visual cue to click the label.

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

If you cannot use arrows or a separate drop-down menu for sorting, the simplest thing you can do is, make the labels clickable. Make the labels look like hyperlinks. And when the user clicks the label, they can 'discover' that it does sorting. It is bad usability in terms of understanding the functionality, but, you can atleast give them the visual cue to click the label.

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

Edit: You can make it a bit clearer by either changing the text of the label on-hover, to something understandable like 'Sort' OR you can use Gildas's idea and overlay the sorting icon there.

In conclusion, draw in the user by the hyperlink visual cue and signal the action when in context.

1
source | link

If you cannot use arrows or a separate drop-down menu for sorting, the simplest thing you can do is, make the labels clickable. Make the labels look like hyperlinks. And when the user clicks the label, they can 'discover' that it does sorting. It is bad usability in terms of understanding the functionality, but, you can atleast give them the visual cue to click the label.

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups