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The following device is a network switch.

This particular model contains 24 ports, arranged into 2 rows with 12 ports on each.

There exists hundreds of models of switches, each with different number & physical arrangement of ports.

enter image description here

I need to design a web interface where the user can choose to select multiple ports (& assign values to them in another part). This is what I have now for the port selection:

enter image description here

The problem I am facing is: I don't want the user to think that the UI represents the physical layout of ports on the actual device (because it may not always be the case)

How should I design the UI for this?

  • Building a customized UI for each individual model is out of the question. The only thing that can be easily done would be the number of ports, not the physical layout.
  • I could put a message on the UI explaining that the checkboxes don't reflect the actual arrangement, but I'd prefer the solution to be visual.
  • It doesn't necessarily have to be checkboxes. It just has to be a way to select none or multiple ports
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Since you're worried about users making incorrect assumptions, it may be better to abstract away the physical layout entirely, and instead use something like a multiselect:

React-Select.js style multiselect showing no ports selected in one state, and ports 1 and 3 selected in the other

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