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Sunday, November 22, 2009


This is probably one of those things that scarred me as a kid and I've not gotten over it. My last name is in the back end of the alphabet, and how many freakin' times did I hafta go last because of the first letter of my last name? Alphabetical order is not random order! It gives people earlier in the alphabet an unfair advantage. If I contributed to a project with a team of 5, anytime our names are listed I'm last. Do people even read that far down?

Seth Godin on his blog talks about times to NOT use alphabetical order. Namely, when you're not searching for something specific. Why not order it in a way that it makes sense to? By popularity? I have an example of a different way of ordering something that makes more sense to the end user. I was recently at a new Holiday Inn hotel, and the little cheat sheet of TV channels were listed like this:

Genius! No one goes into a hotel room, picks up the remote, and goes "I wonder what's on channel 2. Or on channel 8. Or channel 45." You go "What channel is ESPN on?"


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