My use case is that I have a checkbox that relates to object (card) and visually it is on that card. My question is: Is it better to form a label for the checkbox like "Hidden" or like "Is hidden"? That passive adjective directly defines (turns on or off that attribute) for the card / object on which it is visually positioned.

EDIT: I have added the picture below to clarify concrete use case. So, you are in admin area and working with the blocks, e.g. footer (there are other blocks too). Here, among other things you can do with the footer, you can make it hidden and droppable.

enter image description here

  • Question addresses a critical shortcoming in UI-element usage🤩 Picture is gold👍 I am highly affected to answer, because with these "short" checkboxes/toggles a simple switch can have tremendous impact, although this is usually not labeled/explained "long" enough – because of space-exhaustion (compare to buttons "hide” or icon 👁️‍🗨️ "show").
    – hc_dev
    Commented Mar 12, 2021 at 4:52

2 Answers 2


Interesting question.

I can't quite picture the exact use case but have in the past spent time deliberating over similar behaviours (toggles, in general, are fraught with hidden complexity both in visuals and terminology).

The way I now try to think about these type of naming decisions is to think like I'm reading a sentence, but considering the action as the focus of that sentence.

What is the user doing by performing the action? "Making the card clickable" so I might consider a label like "Make clickable". This focusses on the positive action.

Another way to think about it, it to ask a question. This is a technique often used by sites like gov.uk in their form design. In this case, it might be that the label is verbose and expressive "Should this card be clickable?"; using this method makes yes/no answers very clear but at the expense of terseness.

That said, as is always the case, you should test for the users understanding and preference as often the "correct" answer isn't what the user expects. The example I like to cite is using self scan supermarket checkouts. When finding items such as tomatos, most people expect it to be under vegetables, but it's infact a fruit (technically).

Coming back to your original question, subjectively, Is clickable sounds like the way I might expect the data to be represented in code. Borrowing from the question approach, perhaps simple Clickable? would suffice as a more concise version, retaining the question format. This would make a yes/no answer fairly explicit.

  • 1
    Thanks for detailed answer - you can take a look if you would like too at my edited question - use case is now better explained with a screenshot.
    – ceruleus
    Commented Mar 10, 2021 at 16:10
  • Some words definitely lend themselves better to short versions. E.g., "is hidden" can just be "Hidden" for a checkbox, and it's pretty clear to anyone what it means.
    – Tim Holt
    Commented Mar 11, 2021 at 22:21

Checkboxes are typical used to select one or more items for inputting data.

Buttons are typical use to initiate actions. If the user has the option to hide the footer, I suggest a button labeled "Hide" Once hidden, the label on the button changes to "Unhide" to unhide the footer.

Informing the user that the footer is hidden, is okay but do you want to provide the user the opportunity to unhide the footer?

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