I'm developing a GUI renderer for a system called FLPOS. When doing mockups for how the IRIX-inspired GUI will look, I ran into a problem. When the checkbox is in a 'checked' state, the checkbox changes its border to look like it's pressed in:

enter image description here

I don't know whether the 'indeterminate' state should also have this pressed-in effect applied to it as well. What do you think?

EDIT: In FLPOS, the 'indeterminate' state normally has one of three meanings:

  1. Usually when in a tree view or other hierarchical layout - Anywhere from one to all but one of the children have selected this property.
  2. When combined with the 'disabled' state - Another property has made this property non-applicable.
  3. When you can reselect the 'indeterminate' state - Use the default value of this property, which can change at any moment (i.e. defaults are synced over network.)

1 Answer 1


Anything that is not "yes" (checked) can be interpreted as "no." For check marks, the common use and mental model for the user is that there are only two options (while we as designers/developers might think of more) so treat indeterminate visually as unchecked with no inner shadow.

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