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Sortable list

Data set suited for tabular display must be presented on a screen.


Operators need to browse a tabular data set.


The data set may be too large so a list box may not be sufficient to browse the data set.


This pattern provides a scrollable list capable of displaying column headers and a scroll bar. If the list loses focus the previously selected entry remains highlighted in a different colour. If a list contains more entries than it is capable to display, a scrollbar shall be added to its right-hand side. Pressing one of the elements of the scrollbar shall select the associated list entry if nothing has been selected before. Selecting a list entry also updates the scrollbar. Pressing a list entry shall never directly cause an action, e.g., issue a call.

Usability Impact

Using this pattern may reduce error probability instead of requiring the user to recover from an error.

Safety Impact

Lists are also a method of letting the user review an action before actually performing it; therefore, it reduces the risk of inadvertently issuing an action.

Interactive Example


Click a list entry to select; use the up and down arrow keys of the scroll bar to navigate.


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