When the results are displayed across pages and say you are on nth page and try to sort on a column, should it remain on the same nth page or should it display the first page? If it can be either, are there use cases/specific kind of data when it would be ideal to stay on the current page upon sorting vs. navigate back to the first page?

  • It should go back to the first page. Makes no sense to stay on the current as its content (i.e. the items it presents) may change anyway.
    – Assimiz
    Dec 24 '15 at 11:48

You should navigate back to the first page. To understand why, you should simply answer the question why user sort lists. For example they want to :

  • find the highest score
  • start reviewing products starting from the lowest price
  • find the most recent posts
  • find the employee name starting with the letter B
  • find the e-mails send on the 5th of December

In all of the above cases, the most useful behavior would be to navigate back to the first page.

  • 1
    An exception could be if you've selected/chosen one item in the list and wish to see its position under another sort e.g. a list of football players sorted by appearance count, christiano ronaldo is selected, and then the list is re-sorted by transfer fee. In that case it makes sense to pivot the sort around that item such that you go straight to the page that item is on.
    – mgraham
    Dec 24 '15 at 12:48
  • I'd argue that that example defies a sort/pagination convention in service of a bad multi-select list view pattern. If the searcher truly needs to execute multiple sorts to select multiple players, then they might be better served by a shopping cart coupled with a single-select list interface. Sep 22 '16 at 2:01

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