I have an editable Grid/Table where the cells can be edited. In a column, there can be some filled and unfilled cells. The column can be sorted. What is the best way to sort the cells? enter image description here

I am thinking of these approaches:

  • Sorting A-Z - Display the empty cells at the end.
  • Sorting Z-A - Display the empty cells first.

enter image description here

Any thoughts on this approach?

  • 1
    Sorting depends solely on context. What is the content, how do users read out the table, why are the empty cells relevant for users and what do they do with them? Etc. Context is key for a good, relevant and thus helpful answer.
    – jazZRo
    Feb 12, 2022 at 11:39

2 Answers 2


Since you mention that this is a grid/ table experience you are designing for, sorting a column by filled/ unfilled cells would rearrange the rows in the table as well. If multiple columns have empty cells your problem might not be solved by either of these 2 approaches.

I would suggest that if identifying the empty cells is so important, then highlight them by default, or have a checkbox to highlight them.

Table example

Table example


If the sorting is available is because the user wants to see the empty cells, this means cells on top.

The only reason I see cells at the bottom is if their content is closely related to the in-order content of the cells above. If not, it would put the cells on top when the user requests it.

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