Our system has a collection of objects (school classes, to be specific) that are currently all system-generated through an integration with an external database. The classes are displayed as a grid of tiles on a page.

We're adding the functionality to allow teachers to create their own school classes that will mostly be functionally identical to the ones created by the system, but with a couple of exceptions, and we'd like to distinguish easily between user-created and system-generated classes visually.

Is there an affordance or design pattern that would read well as "user-created" for this purpose?

  • In what way will it help the user to know that a class is user-created vs. system created? Is it important for them to know this to accomplish a task, or more of an FYI?
    – Izquierdo
    Sep 1, 2021 at 21:45
  • 2
    @Izquierdo, there are certain actions they can't perform on a user-created class, and certain actions they can only perform on a user-created class. Not many, but a few. Sep 1, 2021 at 21:55
  • Colour code them
    – PhillipW
    Sep 3, 2021 at 8:11

1 Answer 1


Welcome to UX StackExchange!

I think here the problem is knowing the author of the classroom, so in that case simply articulate them:

an image containing three classes in a single row, bearing "class name" and "class author" as descriptors

This is simply "text", or "label". (To answer your question about affordances.)

Now, you want to distinguish between "user-created" and "system-created"; in this sense, I think it'd be more user-friendly if the system-created ones were to be marked by the School itself, designating the "school" as the "system":

depiction of three classes in a row, intro to UX by John Doe, design thinking by black sea design school, and ui design fundamentals by susan b. doe

Here it's fairly clear about which is which, without mentioning "user-created" or "system-created" at all.


It seems that this system is designed for the teachers, not the students. The above answer was designed for a students' dashboard. Here's my idea for a teachers' dashboard. See comments for discussion.

enter image description here

  • This is a great solution, with a bit of a clarification needed: most often, a teacher's dashboard includes classes created by the system and classes created by that teacher. There won't be many classes created by other teachers, if any. So to be more clear: for the teacher, they will be seeing "classes I created" and "classes that were handed to me." I am concerned that adding their full name would add information that is generally unhelpful. Sep 7, 2021 at 15:41
  • @ilinamorato Forgive me, I thought this was the students' dashboard. In that case, then, I would suggest changing the names to these designations: "Created by you" (for the user-created classes) or "Assigned to you" (for the system-designed classes). Another solution would be to distinguish it with headings. I'll update the answer. Sep 8, 2021 at 5:32
  • I hadn't even considered headings. Thank you, that's very helpful! Sep 8, 2021 at 13:54

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