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I have a table on which each cell is already a link to a different section (eg. the row contains 'Name', 'Location' and 'Type' columns and clicking the name cell takes you to the Show action of that person, ditto for Location and Type). But the row data is only a summary and I want to provide a link to the Show action of the entity on the row (with all the details). I can't make the entire row a link because individual cells are already links.

Some alternatives I thought of:

  1. Add a Details button/link on the row. As a button it adds a lot of visual weight to the table. As a link is hard to notice. As an alternative, make it visible only on row hover, but I generally don't like 'surprise!' actions that are visible only on hover. I also shun hover due to future mobile plans.
  2. Add a iOS style disclosure arrow, with link to Details. Is pretty much same as above, but with a less obtrusive button.
  3. Get rid of the individual cell links and have only one row link pointing to the entity Details view. The role of the individual cell links (Name -> Person details) would be picked up by the entity Show Details view, ie. one has to navigate to the details first.

I would also appreciate if one can point me to some good reading material on the subject. Something equivalent to Apple's interface guidelines but for HTML/Web.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

clicking the name cell takes you to the Show action of that person, ditto for Location and Type

If Location and Type also shows details of location and type for that particular user then you may only link the first cell, i.e. Name, to the Show action as it may look more cleaner..

In order to Show action of the entity with all the details you may add one more column Details and add an icon there for details..

enter image description here

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A similar treatment is to provide a per-row icon representing the entire row, at the start of the row. For example, if each row were a project assignment (with columns for Person Assigned, Department, Type) then you'd have a .. umm .. hat icon on the left hand edge. Order rows would have a basket/shipping-crate icon, rows of Gamer scores might have a bulls-eye icon, and so on. –  Erics Dec 21 '12 at 15:34
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