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Here is a little UX problem I am working on. I am posting here because our UX testing indicated a user understanding issue, and research has not helped me greatly.

Build: Online redemption table

Objective: Users can access a view of their holdings, and provide an amount to redeem.

Issue: We added a ‘select all’ option on the right to help someone who just wants the full holding (reduce typing), but testers thought it was a holding select box that would activate the dollar entry input.

Possible considerations: Looked at adding text beside each checkbox that says select all but it space is limited. Thought of using text that says Select All and Clear, but not sure that would be intuitive.

Problem: How to give users an intuitive option to easily select all of a holding or all holdings?

enter image description here

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  • How many list items can there be in total? what's a typical use case?
    – Mike M
    Feb 14, 2023 at 22:22
  • The list could have up to 30, but typically 5-10. Feb 15, 2023 at 0:30

4 Answers 4

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That's a pretty strange result.

Anyway, I think your users are mentally merging the two columns by the Gestalt principle of proximity. With that in mind, I'd just try putting the last column at the beginning (which is a very common pattern, by the way). Something like this:

enter image description here

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  • To add to this, I'd suggest "Withdraw All" instead of "Select All". At first glance, I had to do a bit of guesswork to figure out what the "select all" column did. It depends on your user and the use case for this wire frame, but I feel like "select all" ≠ "withdraw all" and it would be more clear to the user if they had a clear heading
    – Gene
    Feb 15, 2023 at 0:27
  • I understand where you are going, but I think users would get confused with the checkbox on the left. Checkboxes on the left usually mean selecting the row vs. withdrawing all (I agree on header title). I think following Fitts’ law it should be closer to the input field, so the user is not moving from left to right sides. Feb 15, 2023 at 0:36
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You could try radios instead of checkboxes, which still tells the user how much is available in each fund, but makes it more obvious that they're selecting the amount. You do lose having everything in one column for totaling, but that might not be a problem for your users.

Select Amount to Withdraw screen that shows each row with radio options

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  • I am not it is intuitive that the radio with available funds means that you are selecting it all. If I had the column space I would test this out, but my actual table does not have a lot of extra space. Feb 15, 2023 at 0:40
  • This is 3 columns vs 4 in the original concept
    – Izquierdo
    Feb 15, 2023 at 1:08
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Devin added a good pattern example, I just want to say, not surprisingly, the testers thought the checkbox referred to the dollar. There is a principle of proximity in design and it means "Items close together are likely to be perceived as part of the same group — sharing similar functionality or traits." That is why you need to keep the checkbox on the front of the row and try to follow this principle if you want to apply the checkbox for all row content.

Helpful article: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/gestalt-proximity/

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  • I think you misunderstand. The testers saw the checkbox on the right as a select checkbox, that they had to check it to open the ability to add an amount for that holding. How is that resolved by moving the checkbox and reinforcing the false idea that is needed to enable withdrawals. The problem to be solved is giving the user a faster way to say they want to withdrawal that one holding. They may want $200 from #1 and all of #2, should they have to enter a $$ value for #2 or is there a faster method to say they want all of #2? Feb 15, 2023 at 19:34
  • Okay, first of all, adding checkboxes to let users choose to use an input field is weird. Users simply enter the amount, you show the total and add a withdrawal check so that the user does not make a mistake. If you want to add an option to withdraw all money from the account (without entering a value), you can add another column with toggles or checkboxes depending on your logic.
    – AndriiD
    Feb 16, 2023 at 7:14
  • Yes that would be weird, that’s why we didn’t build it with that intent, but UX testers saw it as a select option. We built it exactly as you suggested but again, testers didn’t understand, and why I am here looking for alternatives. Feb 16, 2023 at 16:38
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So I pasted my exact question into ChatGPT and the answer is decent so I am sharing here:

If the site is not mobile friendly, you could consider using a dropdown menu with two options: "Select all holdings" and "Clear selection".

When the user selects "Select all holdings", all the holdings are automatically selected, and the dollar entry input is deactivated. When the user selects "Clear selection", all the holdings are deselected, and the dollar entry input is enabled.

To make this dropdown menu more intuitive, you can use a label that clearly communicates its purpose, such as "Redeem holdings" or "Select holdings to redeem". You can also add a tooltip that appears when the user hovers over the dropdown menu, providing additional context about its function.

Alternatively, you could use two buttons, one labeled "Select all" and the other labeled "Clear selection". The user would click on the "Select all" button to select all holdings and deactivate the dollar entry input, and click on the "Clear selection" button to deselect all holdings and enable the dollar entry input.

In either case, it's important to make the purpose and function of the dropdown menu or buttons clear and intuitive to the user. As with any UX design solution, it's always a good idea to conduct further testing with users to ensure that the design effectively addresses the issue and is user-friendly.

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