I'm working on a table in which rows have statuses, and depending on your relationship to the item in the row AND the status, the row may have a primary action. For example, a list of invoices where some invoices are waiting for review. If you submitted the invoice, you can't review it. If you didn't submit the invoice, you can review it. My issue is having the status AND the action seems redundant, since they use similar verbiage and status can be inferred from the action text (see Table A). In the invoice example, "Begin Review" makes it pretty clear that the invoice was submitted for review, is the status "Ready for Review" really necessary if you see the button (see Table B)?

I've been researching this on and off for a while and can't find a definitive answer. Is this harmful to the user? Is there some best practice around wording or UI to display these in a less redundant way? Is the redundancy preferable? I used Table B in testing, and users had no difficulty completing tasks, but of course testing and real world aren't always the same.

(There are already controls to filter by status and whether you can take action, but I need a solution for showing all in one table as well.)

two tables, one showing status and action in separate columns, one showing status and action in one column

1 Answer 1


There's actually only one action Ready for Review the other options are arrays of editable steps to achieve this action.

I think the confusion lies in seeing it from the point of view of a table and its rows, when in reality the process is a series of steppers, regardless of the order of the steps, where in order to carry out the last one it's necessary to have the previous ones reviewed and completed. Visualizing it in color, green could be ready, orange is draft and red is required to review. Having all the green steps, the final action is possible:

enter image description here

Passing this process to a table, it's similar, where the "status" column is merely informative and the actions are only where they are required, and only the complete status gives access to the final action. In the case of the superposition of two states, draft and revision required, the second would be above both and only the icons would indicate which is the action on each step. The interesting thing about subdividing the processes to be carried out is that the user knows exactly where to act.

enter image description here

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.