In an app where you earn credits and then spend those credits, there will be a history screen with two tabs - earning history and spending history. Which tab order makes the most sense?

1) Chronological: You have to earn credits before you spend them, so earning history is first.

2) Importance: The spending history tab will contain purchases you may want to go back to and check the status of, etc. This tab will likely be more frequently visited, so it comes first.

3) Hybrid: Order the tabs chronologically, but the spending tab is active by default.


While @BDD might be right and I'd consider his suggestion, it's certainly possible that the two tabs are warranted, for all kinds of reasons.

I don't think that the chronological order is a good idea, because the same logic is equally valid for a reverse chronological order. You say that earning comes before spending, but then spending is more recent than earning, so maybe that should be first. In both cases it's a pretty artificial way to order the tabs, and I don't think that users tend to assign chronological importance to the location of tabs.

What you should look at is the usage of the tabs. The difference between them is not just between first and second, it's the difference between having your information in plain sight, and having to perform an action in order to see the information. The income tab is usually a dead end, it doesn't lead anywhere else. The spending tab usually leads to a drill down into the ordered items, delivery status etc. So as you say, it's likely that this is the more important one. I think it should come first.

Regarding the "hybrid" approach - making your default tab not the first one is a very unusual design call, and you need a very compelling reason to do so. It doesn't seem like you have one here.


Honestly, I wouldn't put it in two separate tabs. This is just going to create more hassle for your users.

I would merge them into one tab or portion of your app, similar to how banks and credit card companies do it with withdrawals and deposits or purchases and payments. The user then has all the information they need without having to flip back-and-forth between two separate tabs.

I'd also put the users total number of available credits at the top. That way, they get a quick, brief summary of their total number of credits they're able to spend without having to do the math themselves.


BDD is right.

Differentiate it with colour codes in the rows itself. For an example, Red for spent and Green for earned.

Always show the balance at the top right corner.

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