What is the preferred approach when the goal of a page is for a user to edit some values of multiple combinations? Inline editing in a table or multiple rows consisting of dropdowns and inputs? The two approaches visualised:

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Specifically for the table approach I found a great working example here that will make the interaction with the table easier.

Also note that not all the values are required to be filled.

  • It depends on the context, can you add some info about your use case?
    – Martyn
    Jan 2 '20 at 11:20
  • What do you mean by “multiple combinations”? Did you mean to say “within multiple rows”?
    – Mark
    Jan 2 '20 at 17:40
  • Please see my comment on Erhan Yaşar answer.
    – sarotnem
    Jan 3 '20 at 9:51

It's like yes/no question to answer this without any further explanation but, giving the user ability to make their choice simply whenever it's possible, way more practical instead of making user having an interaction more than once in case of selecting from input dropdown rather than doing it with a single click.

As a user I'd prefer the first choice of table editing whenever I can make a selection between using them, but there might be some restrictions using it like having standart choices for some of the inputs as you are able to select some of the choices and you can't select the same options for some others.

  • Think of the use case as a stats keeping form, say a company that has multiple vehicle types in multiple cities. The user will register the amount of vehicles each city has. I'm leaning towards inline table editing because apart from the "cleanliness" about the data the table provides, in case there are multiple vehicle/city combinations the amount of rows with dropdowns & inputs will be too much for the user to handle. Initially I didn't want to use a table because of display problems such as overflow e.t.c. but it seems this is a much better approach.
    – sarotnem
    Jan 3 '20 at 9:51

What's on the user's mind when they input the data? Is it a quick task and they just want to input the data and leave? Or is it that they'll sit there, look at the data of other combos/cells, and input their data based on the data in other cells?

A table view is great for complex data entry and manipulation. It's also great when users need to compare data. It may also avoid missing entering data as you see all the empty cells.

However, if users know what they need to enter, the dropdown approach shows less noise and may be the quickest way.

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