I'm creating a data table and I would like to highlight the user, so they know it's them on the table when they view it. What would be the best way to do it? Adding '(you)' after the name, or just changing the color of the row is enough?

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  • 1
    Welcome to UX StackExchange. Can you share screenshots of what you are attempting? Commented Oct 4, 2023 at 16:52
  • 1
    Hi, I have added a screenshot! Commented Oct 4, 2023 at 17:02
  • How does this table work? Do other rows get highlighted when the cursor hovers over it, or does it stay static? Can you place the user (you) at the top on default, or is the order important?
    – Gene
    Commented Oct 4, 2023 at 18:09

3 Answers 3


It depends but I would say that just highlighting the row often isn't enough because tables generally have a number of select and hover over states that will highlight rows or columns, and it would be easier to use other indicators.

Some common choices are to use text (as you have shown) or provide a specific icon or symbol. However, I suspect that from the example that you are showing, each row should have a unique key or combination of fields that can be used to identify people with the same name (e.g. user id, birthdate, address, etc.).


Like Michael said, it would depend on what other interaction states you have for the rows. For example, it might be confusing to highlight your row background in conjunction with a mouse hover state highlight.

The "you" solution might be enough if the table is short, allowing the user to scan and find the label. However, it can be problematic if your table has tens or hundreds of rows. It would be much more difficult to look for the "you" label.

Another solution could be bolding the name. It would make it noticeable enough while scanning, while not overriding hover states, etc. If your table is extensive, adding a shortcut button to jump to your row might also be useful. Similar to the "Today" button in calendars.

Additional thought with the "you": Would a user not know their name indicates themselves? Or are they given a name they are unfamiliar with? Or is it common to have repeated full names?


Changing colour to convey a state is not enough, you need to add words or an icon, or change some other form factor.

Adding “(You)” is a great way to achieve that, why not along with a highlight colour.

A considerable amount of humans (8 % of men, 0.5 % of women) have some form of color vision deficiency (CVD), aka color blindness. Add to this users with glaring screens that reflect light, or the sun shining on a display.

Therefore, the most basic level of the Web Accessibility Guidelines, which are the basis for many legal accessibility requirements, require the following:

Color is not used as the only visual means of conveying information, indicating an action, prompting a response, or distinguishing a visual element.

From Understanding Success Criterion 1.4.1:Use of Color (Level A)

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