I'm searching for an intuitive way to change the order of a list. I don't think that drag'n'drop would be a good solution, because it's a mobile browser based application and no user would try to long click something for drag'n'drop in a browser. My first attempt is something like a popup, which opens when the user clicks on the item number.

Arrow popup

But I still think there is a better solution to do this and I hope you can help me.

  • Welcome to UX.SE! It would help if you defined the dimensions of your problem space a bit more. How many items in the list? How long are the captions? How many different clients does the interface need to support?
    – tohster
    Commented May 9, 2015 at 6:58
  • The list fills the complete screen of a tablet in landscape orientation. There are not that many items in the list maybe around 10. The interface has to support 1 client at a time.
    – TobiasW
    Commented May 9, 2015 at 7:07
  • OK thanks. Sorry by client I meant, are you planning on using the same interface for desktop, mobile and tablet?
    – tohster
    Commented May 9, 2015 at 7:13
  • It's a web based tablet application.
    – TobiasW
    Commented May 9, 2015 at 7:17

2 Answers 2


Long click and drag seems to be the best solution. One or two below:

  1. If you have a long list - long click and scrolling list as a background with clicked element above.
  2. For short list - long click and drag.

Also consider clicking - icon on the right side indicating, that you can change order. After click moving up / down is activted.

enter image description here

I'd consider some menu action for activation of editing order. Especially if editing order is not a core functionality of your app.

  • Okay thanks, I already thought that it would be a good solution, but I scraped it because I thought a normal user would not intuitively drag'n'drop items. But as you said some menu action to activate reordering, would make it more obvious and I could highlight it when the "reorder mode" is active thanks.
    – TobiasW
    Commented May 9, 2015 at 7:11

The problem with drag-and-drop is that you can't be sure about the user recognizing this a functionality. If you provide some kind of "first time tutorial", and the lists tend to fit in the screen, it's the best option.

Comparing d&d with the arrows, the latter are more intuitive but also more tedious because of the number of taps that might be required.

If lists are long enough to keep a lot of items "below the fold" frequently, an option is to put some control that let you choose "After X" / "Before X" so the user doesn't have to drag&drop or push the arrows eternally.

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