I need to sort my content by recent and most popular. I see Reddit uses tabs, but unfortunately tabs won't fit into my layout.

Would I be breaking any UX principles by using buttons?

This question differs from "Too many tabs - use buttons instead?" in that:

  • He already uses tabs
  • His layout is for his backend, mine is for my frontend
  • 1
    Hi, I have two questions when I read this. Do you sort your content by "Recent" and "Most popular" or do you want to use these as filters. Can one content/article only appear in one of the categories "Recent" or "Most popular" or could an article be related to both. At a first glance I'd tend to say, you want to apply filters - in that case i think a button or a link would be the better choice - I'd even say tabs would be wrong in that case. Commented Jan 15, 2013 at 11:59

2 Answers 2


I don't like the use of tabs, because tabs imply different content in each tab. When you merely change the sorting, you see essentially the same content or data-set, only in a different way.

This might be a little old-fashioned, but sorting or filtering is intuitively controlled with radio buttons, or even dropdown box, in case the sorting is changed rarely.

Since your interface is of a social website, I don't know if these solutions would look good, and perhaps buttons would do just as good.

  • +1 Tabs imply different content, not the same content in a different arrangement. Although tabs are sometimes used as sort buttons it's not a good idea.
    – obelia
    Commented Jan 15, 2013 at 15:45

If they are too many tabs then "Maybe" buttons are good, otherwise tabs are much more intuitive when it comes to presenting the same data in different (and predefined) filtering logic likes 'Most Watched', 'Recently Added', 'Top 10', 'All'.

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