I am so confused about drop down sorting that either it should be alphabetically or logically. Like I want to test for billing frequency drop down in which values are monthly, yearly, quarterly and half yearly according to me it should be logical so monthly should be first value in the drop down and then quarterly then half yearly and finally yearly but my senior said that it should be alphabetically sorted.

Kindly help me that which is the best way either logically or alphabetically.

1 Answer 1


You should use the order that the company expects in the dropdown

That should be the order that makes most sense to your users based on their context

There is no 'best' way or simple standard other than what is most suitable for your situation based on the business requirements.

The most suitable approach will depend on many factors.
Context will also determine sort direction.

There are several general approaches:

  • Alphabetic
    Most familiar in many cases. Can present issues for multiple languages

  • Numeric
    Simplest to implement if data is displayed using a numeric index

  • Temporal
    For example show today, tomorrow, next day-1, next day-2

  • Context
    Uses data based on other characteristics that lend themselves to grouping items based on their characteristics, e.g. all 'saws' are listed under a 'saws' group even though their name may start with 'ragged saw', 'large saw', 'ban-saw', etc. This is often combined with Subgroups.

  • Subgroups
    Sometimes there are major categories, e.g. country and then subcategories, e.g. state and to capture state it is helpful for users when the state dropdown has this tree structure. This method can include various of the other approaches for then sorting the data within both the main and children lists.

  • Mixed
    Can be many different forms. One is that the top 'few' common options (1 to about 30 or so) are listed at the top and then a large number of less frequently used 'other' options are listed below them. You see this frequently used to for 'United States' as the top of a country list instead of at the bottom where alphabetic sorting would place it.

Are you or your senior knowledgeable about how users use the product for their context ?

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