Have a design related question.

The image shows a sample table sorted according to the column 'Position'. How would one sort the column according to 'Office', with the fields having multiple values.

The solutions I have, at the top of my mind - is. 1. Duplicate rows as user sorts it by Office. Hence a row with 3 values under Office, will appear 3 times in the list. :-/ 2. Have 1 main value (Office eg. Tokyo) and the others are secondary values (eg. Bombay,London) so the sorting gets done by the main value only.

Any solutions, suggestions?

  • can you elaborate on what is the solution that you chose, and what have the users said about it? If you have any more sources/reading material about this problem I would be glad to see it as well. thanks!
    – Hagai
    Aug 8, 2016 at 6:48
  • :( I didn't have a solution. I don't believe I worked on that project long enough to fix this.
    – Anusha
    Aug 9, 2016 at 22:03
  • Oh. If you look up Kendo UI controls, I have seen some pretty good solutions for sorting and filtering tables :)
    – Anusha
    Aug 9, 2016 at 22:04

1 Answer 1


I like your second solution better because:

  1. Office locations are consolidated into one column for one person. This reinforces the notion that the person works out of multiple offices.
  2. Out of the possible offices, there must be a main office and sorting by the main office makes sense

One idea you could consider is allowing user to have the option to select sort by. When user clicks on the column header, a droplist will appear that allow user to select either primary or secondary office.

Windows does this in a way, see below:

enter image description here

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