Project is a chatbot. One pane is for chat messages, and in some cases there's an extra pane for contextual visual (table, PDF, video, etc.).

So, in this contextual pane, there will sometimes be a table. The appearance of the table is the same. But content changes, based on question being asked.

Can this table have a column chooser? Even if the content changes dynamically?

Question for UX designers: is this weird?

Question for developers: is this feasible? That the column chooser skeleton exists, but names of columns change within it?

  • I was not able to understand your question, attaching a mockup will be helpful.
    – tridip1931
    Commented Mar 19, 2019 at 22:08
  • I can't answer in the context of a chatbot, but from a development perspective, I'd develop it the same way whether it was dynamic or a fixed set of columns (because columns change over time and I don't want to have to rewrite a bunch of code just because someone added a column in the future). Give each column an attribute and have the code read the attributes to generate the list of columns in the picker.
    – fdomn-m
    Commented Mar 19, 2019 at 22:30

2 Answers 2


A column chooser probably is enough of a standard feature for tables that users will recognize it and know what to expect.

BUT - if the column set available changes with every table view, why should the user look for different columns? If the set of columns is small, they should fit on the screen directly. If the set of columns is big, how is the user to know that one of 50 columns has changed and might contain a worthy bit of information?

So from a UX perspective, I'd work hard to put all columns (always) on the screen (which means, reduce the number of columns as much as possible, which will make your users' lifes easier).

Maybe you can have one switch between "reduced" and "expanded" view of the table to show a nice (small set of columns) vs. complete (cramped all columns onto screen), to avoid browsing 50 column names and trying to understand what useful information might show up in the cells of these columns.

  • Thank you so much! Indeed, this is helpful.
    – Rosebud
    Commented Mar 20, 2019 at 23:34

I suppose the column chooser allows a user to change the set of displayed columns. This is useful if the users know the names of the columns and I suppose those will be visible after the table is displayed, so for the user is no difference if the table content is dynamic or not. For a developer is the same, no difference, the code doesn't depend on the names of the columns. The only question for you could be what columns are displayed initially and I think it is better to have all visible if it is possible.

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