I need to design a table where the user will have to approve new values. The table will show two old values and the difference between the old and the new (the percentage represents the difference between the old and the new value), if they see a suspicious percentage difference, they will check the amounts.

Any ideas on how to order the columns for efficient scanning so it's clear what the percentage represents?

Table design example

  • If the user is expected to know how to analyse the percentage values then it would imply that user will have had some sort of training for the system. Therefore that training would also include how to read the tables. The point is, while it may not be obvious what the percentages mean to a new person looking at the table, it sounds like this table will only be viewed by people who already understand how to use it. So I don't think it is a problem you need to solve. Personally, based on your brief explanation, the current design is already very clear to me.
    – musefan
    Commented Jul 7, 2020 at 11:52
  • "if they see a suspicious percentage difference, they will check the amounts", so wouldn't you have the percentage difference before the amount assuming that they will scan from left to right?
    – Michael Lai
    Commented May 23 at 21:59

2 Answers 2


This is a question about input validation. So, do you have any criteria for 'suspicious percentage gap'. If yes, it'll be better not to rely on user mindfullness and alert him about suspicious value. For example, user should check New Value if it is more than 110% of Old Value 1, and more than 250% of Old Value 2. So, you may draw user's attention to New Value itself as well as to Old Value 2 percentage value because it don't pass validation, while Old Value 1 could be displayed in usual manner. I think corresponding color of foreground or background will be enough informative to draw attention.


Make the label match the information in the column:


There are two bits of information: 1) the old value, and 2) the new value change compared to the old. Add a label for each. The new value is in bold, bold the new value change part of the label. Also add a slash to help distinguish the two.

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