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I have an expandable table where each row may be expanded for detail. However, some rows do not have more data to expand. The expand icon is a carrot placed to the right most of each row. Is is better to:

  • Disable the caret
  • Remove the caret
  • Let users click it to find that no data is there
  • Something I haven't thought of?

I have tried researching this on my own, but keep coming up with dev articles that do not come at this problem from a usability perspective. Help and reference material would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks!

  • When you say carrot 🥕Do you mean a down arrow / "chevron"? Eg ⌄ – scunliffe Dec 27 '16 at 17:11
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Lets analyse the options you have, and what the user might understand:

  1. Enabled button: "There is extra information".
  2. Disabled button: "There is extra information".
  3. No button: "There is no extra information".

Questions that arise from the options:

  1. Enabled button:

    • Nothing displays: "Why is there no info if there was a button to show it?"
    • "No info" message: "Understood but the step was unnecessary"
  2. Disabled button: "I'm not able to see the info. What can I do to enable it?"

  3. No button: "There is no extra information."


So in my opinion the best option is 3. No button. Otherwise you could go with 1. Enabled button with a "No content" message, which is understandable but it makes the user do an extra step.

0

Unless I'm missing something, only show the expand option when there is something to expand to and show.

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The icon is for loading more data in your case. If the set of information doesn't contain additional rows, it is no need to display the icon. I understand you want to keep the design consistent, but a button disabled is more confusing in this case.

0

It is better to not show the expand button for rows that have no details, as shown in this Grid example.

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