This is a simple question: In what order should I place the move down and move up button in a sortable table?

This may be "opinion based", but I hope it's not and there is a definite preference. Out of the blue, I would do it like on the image below.

Or should I put the move up button first?

sortable table

2 Answers 2


When you're sorting items, you want to see the item name/identifier to know that you're putting it in the right location.

Since the name/identifier is typically the 1st piece of info displayed on the left, you want your sort controls close to that.

Therefore having the controls on the left is preferable.


download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

  • Very helpful advice, didn't think about that from my developer's perspective! So you say the move up button should be first, too?
    – bytecode77
    Mar 14, 2016 at 21:10
  • @bytecode77 Yes. They should be seen as a pair.
    – nightning
    Mar 14, 2016 at 21:11

You will need a little logic so that the first record only has a working down button, and the last record only has a working up button.

You can either grey out the inactive buttons for the first/last records, or even better hide the inactive buttons, e.g. the first record only has a down button and the last record only has an up button.

  • That's a good point! I even campe up with this myself :) I have hidden the first up and the last down button and replaced it with blank space.
    – bytecode77
    Mar 15, 2016 at 17:23

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