1

Case

In our software, we have a list of modules/options that the user can enable or disable.

List of selectable modules

Each enabled module has a severe performance impact on the CPU, so to avoid crashes, we decided to hard-limit the amount of modules the user can enable. I was looking for ways to display this limit.

Method 1: Label with "X/10"

Display label with limit

A very simple method would be to display a label with the hard limit maximum and the current selected amount of modules. The user cannot exceed the amount at any time.

Pros

  • Simple to create
  • Instantly clear how many modules are activated
  • Instantly clear what the limit is

Cons

  • No clear reason why limit exists

Method 2: "Load"-bar

enter image description here

Another option i had in mind was displaying a progressbar that would act as a "CPU load" indicator. If more modules are enabled, the progressbar would fill up and change color. In the background, the hardlimit still exists.

Pros

  • Visually more pleasing
  • Clear reason for limit=

Cons

  • Hardlimit number is unknown for user
  • I work at NASA and my super-PC can only activate 7 items, just like my crappy old laptop.
1

You could just place a question-mark icon next to the "(3/10)" of option one and explain the user what that number means and why its limited with a tooltip he sees after clicking it.

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