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I want to add the ability to specify a default sort to this interface. Currently it allows users to specify the order of the columns display and the default size. I am revamping it into a table form to save some real estate.

In the mean time, I want to add the ability to specify a default sort to this interface, How would I go about it.

The obvious solution is to have a dropdown of all the columns the be able to specify what is the default sort, and direction(asc/desc) This is seen other applications that can be found on Google Images

The second solution is to have radio buttons on the rows to specify the default sort

Which is better and more intuitive? Or if there is a better solution.

Also one should be only specify if it is a default sort if the user choose to display that column.

Sorting

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I would go with something on the row itself:

  • for option 1, it is not obvious the dropdown and row selections are linked
  • all other field configuration is handle in the table row

However - I think your row selection interface can be improved as well. Have you considered letting users configure the report page from the report itself? You could use a drag and drop model to move / display columns / resize. In terms of ordering, up/down arrows on the field headers should be obvious for users.

By letting users configure within the report page, and then remembering the users report format between requests (or possibly letting them 'save' templates) you could greatly simplify the configuration page, or even remove it altogether.

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