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I am working on an accounting form that shows a month's worth of bank transactions. The transactions can be displayed as either one table showing checks and another table showing deposits or as a single table showing all transactions (both checks and deposits). There are use cases for using both layouts when performing the task.

I have struggled with how to label the view toggle for this. I have tried two options, but neither has resolved the confusion people have with this control.

I started off with the labels as "split tables" and "single table" as shown:

Split tables

and

Single table

We user tested this, and a couple of participants were not sure what a "table" was. Also, some people initially thought that "single table" would only display one of the two tables and simply hide the other (i.e. only show the deposits table and hide the checks table). They didn't realize that "single table" combined all transactions into one table.

Next, I tried to make the labels more aligned with the language of the task. "Arrange transactions:" "by type" (meaning whether a transaction is a check or a deposit) or "by date" (since arranging all transactions by date is the main use case for using the single table view).

By type

and

By date

However, people confused this with the sorting options in the table headers. One user thought that clicking "by date" would simply change the order in both tables to show the transactions in chronological order.

How can I convey that the toggle controls whether to show either:

  1. A table for checks next to a separate table for deposits
  2. A single table with all transactions inside it
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1 Answer 1

Another question to ask yourself is, "Do I need to provide both ways to view the data." I would recommend user testing each view and picking one or the other. If you just used the table view with a column for deposits and for withdrawals, the user could just sort on that column to find the data they seek. Removing interface elements will help clean up your UI.

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