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For a list of entities, I am able to change between three differen states, A, B and C. I am currently displaying a combobox to change the state. That way, the element does also double as the state indication, because the element can only have one of the three state. Initial state of all items is A.

So far so good. Now I would like to override the states of all items by introducing a global switch that controls the state of all items. Now I have the problem of wanting this switch also as a state indicator. But by changing the state of a single item, this would of course effect the master toggle as well, since it cannot display a "mixed state" among items.

  • Should I use something like "Choose" as an indeterminate state here? The master-toggle would switch to this state when an items state is changed (see image)
  • Should the master-toggle have the "Choose" state as the initial state? States of the items would then only be displayed by the items themselves.
  • Should I abandon the state-indicator function of the master-toggle altogether? (and use it as an override toggle only)
  • I'm open for any suggestions, especially if you think I am using the wrong UI elements for this

enter image description here

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Showing mixed states has traditionally been a difficult problem to handle, mainly because the principle is to keep the UI design as simple as possible, but the combination of state + control requires more complex interpretation (or very careful labeling). I think you have provided a reasonably good solution to the problem, so you just need to consider whether any of the requirements or parameters are likely to change, and how you would adjust for it. –  Michael Lai Jul 16 '14 at 23:42

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