In our product, the user can create a custom sort order of items, so for example ACDB instead of ABCD or DCBA.

Those items are displayed in a table in a later phase. Now the user wants to have their own, ascending and descending sort options to choose from.

How do I visualize a user-made sort option?

I've come up with these icons for now, but I'm not happy with the 'custom' one:

enter image description here

3 Answers 3


Here's a few ideas I had...

Indicate that items can be dragged with a pointer:

enter image description here

Show items of different sizes asequentially ordered:

enter image description here

Use random letters instead of A & Z:

enter image description here

Use a wavy line:

enter image description here

  • I would just use a funnel instead of a-z then arrows up down and zigzag with sharp corners.
    – joojaa
    Mar 13, 2021 at 5:33
  • I like your 3rd idea! I'll wait a bit for more answers otherwise I'll mark yours Mar 15, 2021 at 19:59

Perhaps replace the floppy disk icon with a set of curly braces {} to represent a user-defined script. Or alternatively replace it with a few radio buttons and/or checkboxes in mixed states.

enter image description here             enter image description here

  • Cool suggestions! Although it's nothing really script/checkboxes related because you just change the order by grabbing items and visually drag them up and down. Thanks though! Mar 10, 2021 at 13:51
  • @GerlofLeuhof To me that sounds like a case where you'd use a completely different or no icon. If users can drag the order to make it custom whenever perhaps it'd be better to change how the existing icons look (grayed or something) if a custom order is used. Mar 12, 2021 at 13:34
  • @ZachSaucier They can drag it in one area, but only sort it in a different area. So it's toggling between that custom order you made in a different area + ascending and descending. Mar 12, 2021 at 14:03

Since what you're trying to represent is a customization option, you could use something like a "settings" icon. Either sliders or something including a cogwheel.

enter image description here

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.