In a datagrid, selecting a row with a single click enables two buttons: delete & open details. Currently, a second click on an already selected row unselects that row.

I usually prefer enabling users with the possibility to "restore previous state", however there is no real reason for somebody to select a row besides deleting it or opening details. In your opinion, is it better to open details with the second click (avoids the need to move the cursor on details button) or leave the possibility to unselect the row (which seems useless)?

4 Answers 4


I'd try to ask a friend who isn't good with computers to edit the details and watch for errors. You'll be very surprised at how much you learn through observation! :)

So you're saying double click opens the details panel? That kind of makes sense to me. What about showing those option buttons on hover instead of by selecting a row? Most people aren't going to just click the row if they don't have a signal like the buttons showing up when the mouse hovers over it. Good luck!

  • Hi, there are two buttons Grid / Form in the top-right corner. When you select a row, the button Form becomes enabled. It takes a less space on small screens than having a dedicated column, because the grid can take 100% width.
    – reeax
    Commented Jun 5, 2017 at 8:50
  • I agree. So you don't want inline buttons in your row is what you're saying? Commented Jun 5, 2017 at 8:54
  • No, the question is precisely about what to do with the second click (open details / deselect). Unfortunately, it seems pretty hard to implement double clicks to open details - while keeping selection for single clicks - because the first click inside the double click deselects the row and it seems weird. There are some possible implementations using timeouts, but ** the code is pushing back **. What we had before is a checkbox column for deselection, but it is the same issue as a dedicated column for "detail / delete" links (perhaps even better because checkbox are smaller).
    – reeax
    Commented Jun 5, 2017 at 10:09

Affordance of click / hover is difficult to achieve in a data grid. I believe showing all the options like (delete, open details) upfront to the users is a better approach over showing them on click or hover. This can eliminate the entire scenario of selecting and unselecting a row. Since, I am not aware of the content you have on each row of the data grid it is difficult to share a detailed solution for it. Can you please share the row content for better understanding?

  • Hi, Grid and Form buttons are always shown. The button Form becomes enabled when a row is selected, so it is pretty obvious. My question is precisely about what to do with the second click (open details / deselect) not searching for a third solution. Thanks :)
    – reeax
    Commented Jun 5, 2017 at 8:53

For specific actions like "delete" or "open details" is better to let the user click the buttons, to have the control. It doesn't make any sense that the click on the row has multiple results that are not related, like "select" and "open". "Select" / "Unselect" is the intuitive choice.


Data grids where rows have further details available for that row are usually indicated by an arrow or plus at the beginning of the row that opens either a sub-grid or a detail panel.

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The detail panel can be a subgrid, or just a panel with some custom controls (e.g. a catalog item could have picture of the product, a text description, and an order button).

If you go this route, the selected row never matters. The user clicks on the plus to see the additional details panel, and any action buttons on that row that you don't want to always have displayed can be displayed in the detail panel with the detail content.

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