I am designing a dropdown menu in a report generation UI where the user has the option to select the seller he want's to see the report for. The control defaults to all sellers selected for the report. On clicking into the control, the user is presented with multi-select checkboxes with the option to toggle between all or none at the top. I am trying to explore a solution where a user is able to switch from all options are selected (which needs to be the default state)to selecting only one (without to need for the user to click 'none' and then proceed with checking the selection he needs to). Here is what I was thinking: 1) On hover over any row that the user wants to select, show the text 'only' 2) If the user clicks on the text 'only' all other checked items will be unchecked and only the selected one will be checked 3) If the user clicks anywhere else on the row, it will toggle the selection

My question is: 1) Is it bad to have two clickable elements on the row in a multi-select menu? 2) Does this appear to be intuitive? 3) Any other suggestions as to how to achieve the result I want.

Please see the image below to get an idea of what I am trying to do. Thanks much![enter image description here]1

  • Do you have an evidence of poor usability for your users when they 1) Select none, and 2) Choose single (or couple of) seller? Jun 20, 2018 at 22:37
  • A significant percentage of users (as observed in softwares that record user interaction) forget to click 'none' and first scroll to and hover over the row that they want to select. They click it (which deselects the row), then click none and then go back to the clicking the row. The other issue is, most often, when the user is clicking into this field he is doing so to select one seller (he may need to select multiple in some cases)
    – Poornima O
    Jun 21, 2018 at 15:15

1 Answer 1


We ran into a similar issue a few years ago and resolved it by changing the default state to having all of the multi-select checkboxes unchecked and then changing the 'none selected' logic to be the same as 'all selected'. This worked in our case as there was no legitimate case where the user would want to apply the filter with no selections. Therefore, we interpreted 'none' as 'no filter applied' which is the same as 'any'.

User feedback showed that this felt intuitive as they could get all results by default but could open the filter and select specific options immediately (without the need to click 'none' first).

  • Thanks for your reply. How did you gather user feedback on this feature? (just curious as I would like to do the same with the solution that I am proposing)
    – Poornima O
    Jun 25, 2018 at 15:07
  • The main thing that we were interested in was how long it took users to find what they were looking for. Part of this was how long it took them to apply a filter and select a result. To measure this we had analytics on the key steps in this flow (e.g. view page, apply filter, click a result). We could then use a funnel to see what percentage of users made it through each step and how long it took overall. We already had a baseline of this from a version similar to yours so we saw that our updated version reduced the time. We also asked users about the flow for qualitative feedback. Jun 26, 2018 at 22:22
  • The OP could perhaps make this behaviour more explicit by switching from Seller: All..... v (when collapsed) to Seller: Selected ^ (when expanded, showing all sellers, initially unchecked). If collapsed, it would revert to Seller: All..... v if all/none were selected, or Seller: Selected v if one or more were explicitly chosen.
    – TripeHound
    Jul 23, 2018 at 14:14

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