I have a dropdownlist and the user has the ability to delete and edit the selected option, or add a new option by clicking a hyperlink which brings up a popup with a form.

Would an 'Edit' link be enough for all these operations or also add an 'Add' link as well? I ask this because I am not sure if an 'Edit' link suggests the ability to add a new entry, to most users. (This UI part is the only place to do these operations on the list.)

  • A little More info, Does each item in the dropdown list have its own edit button, or does editing effect the whole list? Is the flow for editing/deleting/adding different or the same? Sep 29, 2012 at 0:05
  • A screenshot would be helpful
    – Mervin
    Sep 29, 2012 at 20:14
  • It's just a regular dropdownlist with an Edit hyperlink to its right. When the link is clicked, a popup form shows up to edit or delete the dropdownlist item. The fields are populated. The same form is used to add a new item to the list. Sep 30, 2012 at 20:13
  • Does this form control sit within a longer form, or does it exist on its own purely for the purpose of adding/editing the options?
    – Matt Obee
    Oct 1, 2012 at 8:58
  • It sits in a form. The selection controls the rest of the form. When the selection changes, the page reloads to load the related data. Oct 1, 2012 at 16:11

3 Answers 3


Edit and Add are two different concepts, so yes, I would treat them each as their own operation


"Adding" an item to a list is generally a more global action (affects the entire table or whatever data display is being used).

"Edit" and "Delete" are typically local actions meant to be performed on a single entry.


It makes sense to have EDIT + DELETE (may be even DETAILS) actions associated with each row in the list, so that it's clear to the user what action they can perform on the individual line item.

But ADD NEW action should always be at the top of the list (preferably on the top right corner with a descriptive icon next to it, for eg, a PLUS sign).

Check out this data tables page here - http://editor.datatables.net/release/DataTables/extras/Editor/examples/inlineControls.html

As you can see from the screenshot below, the action items are placed at the appropriate locations where it makes sense for the user to act on.

And when the user clicks on the button/link (EDIT or ADD NEW), a modal popup is one of the several ways to display a form to capture the user input. The fields would be empty for adding a new entity or populated with existing values when editing an entity.

The submit button that saves the record can be named "SAVE" if you want it to be common for both update and add actions. Or if you want to be more specific, you can call it "ADD" for new records and "UPDATE" for existing records.

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