If we have a data table, each row is clickable to see more details (and is editable from there).

But for affordance purposes, should we explicitly include an edit icon / button for each row even though the entire row is actually clickable and will bring them to the edit page?

3 Answers 3


Answer to your question is - Yes! it is necessary to have an edit icon but the way you present it will make it usable and help in keeping the UI clean.

  • Repetition of elements is not a good UX - it makes the UI look crowded, unless the element is not too bold/big.
  • Displaying action elements on mouse-over is a good option, but you really have to think about the target audience of your site. If your application is meant for all generations you might want to avoid mouse-over actions.
  • Think of scalability; what if the client asks you to add more action icons for the row?

The pattern of showing three vertical dots is becoming common these days for row level actions - it is also very common across devices such as mobiles, tablets and PCs.

Here's an example from Google that solves almost all concerns:

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Not sure what your table looks like (it would be good to see some wireframe/design of the same) - but in general, your design should have some affordances/hints to what an user can possibly do as actions on the same.

  • Instead of putting an edit icon on each row, you can have the Edit icon/Delete Icon, appear on hover of each row. The action of clicking a row still holds true, but this hover information, gives a hint to the user on possibly actions that are doable post click.

  • Depends on design and product behavior - you can have a global action on the table to make it editable. For example, "Edit Table" or "Edit Numbers" etc. This action then supplements an edit icon on the rows to make them clearly editable.

Hope that helps!


there is no need of edit button because

  • it increases the number of clicks.
  • it is quite easily understood without the icon with proper visual representation. This type of thing people have been using from the start in oracle,Google software.

enter image description here

and including edit button in each row may make it look cluttered and repeating the same icon is not advisable.

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