I have two tables of calculations that are generated in slightly different ways. Ideally, the numbers should be the same. But in the case that they are not, I am providing the users with an error report showing which columns are divergent, and by how much.

I haven't seen any examples of this type of reporting before, and my idea is to present the errors in some kind of table, with sets of three rows, as seen here, highlighting the columns that are in error:

enter image description here

The sets of three rows could be repeating depending on how many locations we are reporting on.

My question is this: is this good practice for conveying this type of information? Are there any visual queues I could use besides highlighting the values? And is the "Difference" row necessary, or could I possibly use a tooltip or other element?

The goal is to have a Material-style report, not necessarily a table, but one that would convey the appropriate information in a way that is clear.

2 Answers 2


The "difference" row and highlighting are good ideas for helping users to identify exactly which columns diverge, but perhaps it would be better to highlight the cell showing the difference, rather than the original values?

If the purpose is to help the user find differences, and understand where they are coming from, you could set it up to lead their eye around the screen. In the below example, the red arrows show how the user would scan this to find differences.

enter image description here

The user starts at the top with the cell showing the total difference, if that is 0 they can already stop looking. Otherwise they can scan / scroll vertically until they find a location that has a difference. Only then do they need to look at the more detailed table of information.


Is this a website or and app and am I right in thinking the user is entering this data? If so could you not use validations on the form to save error reporting at all?

  • 2
    Hi Ross, this type of clarification questioning should really be in the form of a comment under the question, as it doesn't actually constitute an answer in itself.
    – dennislees
    Commented Jun 7, 2017 at 19:49
  • okay, thanks I didn't realise, but I can't comment until I have 50 point right? Commented Jun 7, 2017 at 21:44
  • This is actually imported data from another system that our app is doing calculations on. So the only UI piece in this case is the error report.
    – Joel H.
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 12:30
  • Okay, personally, I would say there is a lot of repeated information. Could you just have two rows (calculations) and two columns (PC1 and PC2) and just highlight the 1 record that has the error? Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 13:17
  • @RossLarkin the columns represent required categories of information I need to show. Each value you see is an aggregate sum of many charges. If there is a difference for any of the columns (between the two types of calculations), it needs to be communicated somehow.
    – Joel H.
    Commented Sep 6, 2017 at 0:08

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