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I have table where almost all of its cells are a button that works independently. When I add a 3D button-like design to each cell, the table becomes a large chunk filled with buttons and looks a little noisy. Is there a way to make the table less noisy while making it clearly recognizable that the cells are buttons? Some cells are not buttons, so there has to be some difference among the cells that are buttons and those that are not.

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Are you sure it needs to be a table ? I would help if you gave an example. – Gildas Frémont Apr 29 '13 at 7:07
you could go the windows 8 route with flat square buttons – icc97 Apr 29 '13 at 7:28
Use hyper links instead of buttons – rags Apr 29 '13 at 7:29
Please share your design so that we have a better idea of what you are referring to. – JohnGB Apr 29 '13 at 11:42
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Tables are already very heavy visually so you can add some sort of icon next to the text to indicate that it is a link. i.e.


The advantages of doing this are: - The user can quickly identify which cells have buttons - The essence of the table remains - The visual weight will look balanced

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I would add the marker before the text in the cell, since in this view it 'looks' like it is point at the adjacent cell. – rk. Apr 29 '13 at 14:27

If the buttons take up the entire cell, you will reduce noise. Granted, they will look less like buttons, but if you apply a gradient and different text alignment, it should be clear enough. You could experiment with different fonts and font sizes too, but I'm not fond of the design results.

Here is a rough mockup of what I'm referring to:

enter image description here

I would still question whether there isn't a solution better than a table for this, but if it had to be a table, this is what I would test first.

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