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Let me set the stage:

Think of a web page with a pages long list of rows of data with a handful of columns.

Now there is work planned to add an action button column to this list such that every row will have a single action.

This column will be on the far right.

The action dismisses the list and shows content related to the row.

The concern / question:

I am looking for feedback that confirms or rebuttals this as an 'ok' practice.

I think a better solution would be to make the rows selectable and have a single button on the top (that doesn't move with the list) that does the action. The action button becomes selectable when a single row is selected.

I tried searching for a study but had no luck.


Here is my very crude mock up. Imagine the number of rows is several pages worth and the column widths are several words in length for a couple of columns.

enter image description here

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  • can you show a mockup or wireframe to visualize the issue?
    – Devin
    Aug 10, 2022 at 17:42
  • @Devin I made an attempt to add a mockup.
    – D-Klotz
    Aug 10, 2022 at 18:08

1 Answer 1

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Can the user select the action for multiple rows at a time? If this action is limited to one row at a time, I think it would make sense to have a column with action buttons only. This would bring down the number of clicks to perform this action to one. On the other hand, if the user will most likely select more than one row for this action, then it may be better to have users be able to select multiple rows and then select the action button. I hope I understood your problem correctly, it would be helpful with some wireframes

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  • You read it correctly. I agree with the philosophy of reducing the number of clicks and so far they are talking about just one row being 'acted' upon at a time. What I was also concerned about is whether the web page would be used in a mobile device where the hassle of scrolling to the right would become a burden. The current target is not the mobile space, but obviously nothing prevents someone from doing so. I think I'll lean on your suggestion that only one click is a reason to keep this design. Thanks.
    – D-Klotz
    Aug 10, 2022 at 17:54
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    Ok, yeah if one row is acted upon at a time then i see no reason to let users select the row first and then select the action button. Seems redundant to make them do both. I do see your concern about mobile device which is something i didn't consider. If the button is on the far right, mobile devices wont see that it is an option on first glance. Is there a reason this button cannot be a small button on the far left, making it so mobile users would not have to scroll right to access the button?
    – Gene
    Aug 10, 2022 at 17:58
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    That's the same suggestion I made. I'll make it again and see if I get any traction. Thanks for the feedback.
    – D-Klotz
    Aug 10, 2022 at 18:10
  • No problem,I am actually making a very similar list/columns with an action button on the far right so this relates to what in currently working on. I am keeping my button on the right due to the fact that it will only be desktop, but if mobile is also an option to consider than moving the button to the left would probably be ideal and would improve the ux. I think visually, people are more used to the button being on the right so those who aren't focused on the user experience may prefer the right button, but usability wise having on the left provides the least amount of friction/uncertainties
    – Gene
    Aug 10, 2022 at 18:22

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