I'm creating an application where a user can have n dependent users (that doesn't have the same permissions as the principal user).

Ex: Carl Smith is the principal user and has for dependents: Alicia, John, and Marie.

In almost every view of the app Carl, the main user must have the ability to toggle the view between his dependents users. When he toggles the view he will be on the same page but the data will be the dependent user data.

Solution Process

At first, I thought to display the main user and dependents data but it will be much, so the toggle idea came in. Know I'm trying to figure out how to design the toggle ability but it just doesn't feel ok. If you have a different idea than the toggle it will be.

Idea #1

Have a kind of tab control in the pages when the user clicks it can toggle the view.

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Idea 2

Have a tab contain the pages and when the click in another tab to change the user that display the same layout with different data.

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Idea 3

Have a floating button, when hover it will display the user list and then click in one will change the data of the view.

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Idea 4

Have a select in the top of the page where the user can be changed.

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I really like idea #1 but if the users are > 5 is going to be to much, idea #5 is the most user friendly for n > 10 users but there will be a navbar in the top of the page and that will look so awkward (I prefer side navs for apps, but the navbar is a requirement).

Use Case

The main user, Carl, is on his profile page while checking his data he remember that he has to change the address of his dependent John, so he looks for John (this is where I need the interface, UX...) and the profile data changes to John data, then Carl moves to plans section, where he will see his plans, not John plans, because he is the main character and checking data of other dependent is a more ephemeral action. He can at the same time have the need to check the plan for John and then Alicia, so toggling profiles like Google does can be a hassle.

  • Is there any limitation on showing all dependents on a single page? As a user I would not want to switch around profiles multiple times to view data.
    – Alan
    Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 20:39
  • I was thinking about that after Adnan answer, the main goal is not to switch profiles per se like google, it's more about give the main user the ability to see their dependents data. So it's more about right now the user is in section x and want to see the data of w, rather than let me change the profile to w and see all his data across the app.a Commented Feb 7, 2018 at 12:20
  • Are you trying to solve for a multi-device experience? Also, can a dependant have their own plans?
    – Igorek
    Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 20:51

3 Answers 3


The main user must have the ability to toggle the view between his dependents users. When he toggles the view he will be on the same page but the data will be the dependent user data.

So, according to me the best approach would be #3.


  1. The view toggle function should be on top of the entire application and not on the page as on toggling the view, the page data is only changed and not the entire page.
  2. From page to page the toggle view is not changing only the behind applications pages are changing.
  3. Even if the count of the dependent user grow, this design can be optimized more efficiently to handle it without complicating the UI of the control.

The above points made me drop your ideas #1, #2 & #4 one by one and finalize on #3.


The below wireframe is one of the roughest example of how the expanded view can be used to plot the user tiles I'm sure there will be other great designers who can make it more good looking :)

enter image description here

  • I'm between option 3 and option 4, the thing that is keeping to make a decision towards option 3 is how the design could be effective with more than 4 users, can you give an idea? Commented Feb 9, 2018 at 12:35
  • @LarizzaTueros Maybe you can have a floating button as shown in #3 attached to the left end of the screen which on click would expand to bring up tiles for all users. This can be designed as an overlay over the page giving a large creative space for designers to plot these user tiles on the screen. I have updated my answer with an image. Please check. Commented Feb 9, 2018 at 13:12
  • 1
    Thanks for the answer, I'm going with your answer because I think your the only one that contemplates the toggle aspect of the data and how the behavior is. Commented Feb 9, 2018 at 13:22

How frequently a function is accessed matters a lot in designing an interface like this. If the frequency is not high, you can safely put this option in the top navbar.

Users of the web are accustomed to having their 'profile' up top at the right hand corner. If you carry out a usability test where there this toggle is simply not there at all, users will probably fiddle around with the controls in the right top where they usually find their profile settings, sign-in and sign-out etc.

Your idea # 4 would work well.

  • Hi, maybe I didn't let it clear, but the main user activity will be in his data, sometimes he will want to check depedents data so he has to have the ability to toogle the data to his depedents. Like I said in the question (now edited) is not a profile like google where you can change a user and all the data is changed, that can be more a hassle than a help because if the main user move to another section he will see the user x data and not his, it's more about having the ability to visualize his dependents data. Commented Feb 7, 2018 at 12:24

LinkedIn used to have an option to view your profile as other users see it. What you're describing here reminds me of that. You're not switching users (which, in my mind, eliminates options 1-3), you're simply changing your view.

I recommend a dropdown like the one you have in your option 4, accompanied by the label "View as:" or "View [page name] as:"

When the user switches their view, give them feedback somewhere on the page, something like, "Now viewing [page name] as [username]."

  • I'm between option 3 and option 4, the thing that is keeping to make a decision towards option 4 is that the functionality is more about be able to change the data of a certain page, because if I change the whole profile of the web when the user moves to another section it will be a bother to change the profile again multiple times to check the dependent data/ his data. Commented Feb 9, 2018 at 12:34

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