Hello UX Stackexchange!

I am working in a data-related company. Most UI layouts are based on tables. By default, any table is sorted by the first column ascendingly. Now comes the situation, where we main focus of one of the tables should be aimed at the recent data(last in, first out). This means, that logically should be better to have pre-sorting by the most recent item(descending in time). But all other tables are sorted by default by the first column in ascending way.

How would be better - Keep consistency in design and sort ascendingly or remove one click and show descendingly?

1 Answer 1


Consistency can be found in many aspects of a design. When one table needs a click to sort it correctly, it breaks consistency with the other tables that are automatically sorted correctly.

Unless the table contains the same data as the others there is no need to keep it sorted the same as the others as long as you can assure users know what they are looking at. So make the sorted column the prominent one by either making it the first column and/or add arrow icons, a background shade or borders, whatever suits the design. With useful sorting and clear visual cues you're doing your users a favor.

If you have no control over the design, it is a matter of testing. See how users react on both situations for the table and decide what is best based on that data.

  • I agree. Sort the table according to the users' needs but make it obvious what you changed to be able to do that. Feb 7, 2022 at 16:03

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