Here is an example that the drop down list blocks other content of the page when it's open. Any ideas of how to deal with that?

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  • 2
    Is this a problem? The dropdown list doesn't open itself, does it?
    – quietmint
    Sep 23 '12 at 14:59
  • No when you first come to this page but if you click it to open, it will block the content below...
    – wcdomy
    Sep 23 '12 at 15:03
  • 1
    Can you explain why this is a problem for your users? Does it affect the user's ability to select an appropriate option from the list if they can't see the current value of the next row? Selecting an option then changing it is generally a very low-cost operation; do you have an automatic page load after changing the value that would make this an issue for users?
    – Kit Grose
    Sep 25 '12 at 2:31

First of all: I don't think it is a problem, unless you have the situation that whatever needs to be chosen in that drop down box is dependant on the contents of the row under it that will be blocked by the list that pops up.

If you really think it is an issue, you can think of alternatives:

  • Make the row dynamically resize in height to fit the whole list of options. You should then choose a different control than a dropdown of course. Downside is, that it will push the other rows downwards, causing a big visual disruption and effectively still hiding a lot of the rows under the item, only this time by simply pushing it below the fold.
  • Present your choices somewhere else on the page, perhaps in some kind of detail view. So, instead of allowing direct editing in the grid, you let the editing happen in a detail view. Could work, depending on your data, especially if you have more data on each item than will comfortably fit in the grid anyway.
  • Thanks Andre! Very good suggestion. I'm also thinking maybe we could pop up a module dialogue instead of listing all the options in a drop-down. What do you think?
    – wcdomy
    Sep 24 '12 at 15:23
  • A modal dialog would hide everything under it just the same as the popup-list does, right? So what do you gain with that? Also, it is a bigger visual disruption and requires more interaction (a button click to dismiss, instead of simply navigating away from it). I don't see the benefit...
    – André
    Sep 25 '12 at 7:13

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