I'm showing the user a list of customer records. It can happen that for some records the user created a new customer but didn't enter a full customer name or a company name. When I'm showing the list to the user, I want it sorted by name.

Should I put the records for which there are no names on top of the list or at the bottom of the list?

Thanks for your suggestions.

  • Why do even accept creation of new records without record identifiers in the first place? Oct 17, 2012 at 8:10
  • @AndroidHustle: because "things" happen.
    – frenchie
    Oct 17, 2012 at 13:15
  • well, not with validation of input it doesn't! Oct 17, 2012 at 13:26
  • well anyway, should the unnamed records go on top of the list or on the bottom?
    – frenchie
    Oct 17, 2012 at 13:28
  • Right off the top of my head, probably on the top as MM SF suggested. I do wonder however why you don't make sure that a customer record is coupled with an identifier in the first place? Why would a user even want to add customer records without specifying which customer it's regarding? Maybe there's some strange use case that I'm not aware of. It just sounds like it could benefit both you as a service provider and the end user if the DB isn't populated with incomplete records for which no one really knows which customer it's regarding. Don't take it as I'm attacking you, I'm just curious. Oct 17, 2012 at 13:54

1 Answer 1


We had a similar issue where I worked beforehand.

We put the unnamed (incomplete) contacts at the top of the list, so the user could quickly see that they didn't complete the contact info. For us (an enterprise level co.), our records could be quite lengthy.

We considered those incomplete tasks, so we wanted to bring this to their attention.

If it's important they complete the record, you can have a graphical indication to call it out to the user, so they don't think that the system is at fault.

If it's crucial, you could let the user know when they're creating and saving incomplete records at the time they're entering them. That way the system is responsive. You could give them the option to edit it right that moment, or if the system is forgiving, let them come back later and finish.


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