I have several rows of content, with small font icons to the right of each row for actions to take.

UI Sample

I feel these icons clutter up the look of the page, so I am considering a default opacity of 0 on the icons, and then on :hover of the row, to raise the opacity with a rapid CSS transition.

However, I haven't seen this much in the wild, and I'm wondering if it is considered bad UX.

Are there any rules on this?

  • 1
    DPo1: We do basically that and our users seem to like it.
    – msanford
    Apr 6, 2017 at 19:24
  • Okay thanks. What does DPo1 refer to?
    – dthree
    Apr 6, 2017 at 19:26
  • 1
    "Data Point of One" (why I made it a comment and not an answer.)
    – msanford
    Apr 6, 2017 at 19:26
  • 1
    Okay, understood!
    – dthree
    Apr 6, 2017 at 19:27
  • The Netflix DVD queue does it too, hiding Move and Remove. Apr 6, 2017 at 19:47

1 Answer 1


It is fine to do so usually, because:

  • the repeating controls for the rows may, indeed, create clutter,
  • an action you can perform on a row only makes sense in this particular row context,
  • as the same controls will be hidden for the other rows, User will only see the exact controls they need to operate the currently hovered row.

However, you must remember that:

  • hover actions will not work on mobile (in case you need it),
  • anything that conveys some information that can be different in case of some rows should not be hidden. I can see you have one such thing, which is "Active" switch. It both informs and allows control the data behind it,
  • it is definitely good to bridge all the elements in the row with a highlight on hover, so that the connection between row name and controls is provided (just imagine dots are highlight):

    Foo     Bar                                      [active switch]
    Fig.....Jam............[edit icon].[delete icon].[active switch]
    Fizz    Buzz                                     [active switch]

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