I am building a configuration UI for a client's desktop application. This could be called metaconfiguration, i.e. it allows the client to determine which options are actually available in the eventual application they (or their employees) use. For each device available in the application, there are different types of projects that can be done (determined by two variables: main project type and alternative project type).


download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

Roughly, there are maximum of 10 devices (usually <4) that each have following configuration:

  • 3 main project types: A,B,C
  • 5 additional project types: 1,2,3,4,5

That is, I have a three dimensional matrix of project types: 10 devices x 3 main project types x 5 additional project types.

For each type of project (=combination of device, main type, additional type), the client can select if a project with that type is

  • a) not in use,
  • b) in use with setting I or
  • c) in use with setting II.

That is, each combination of project type and additional project type have one selection of three values the user needs to make. For this, I have three radio buttons for each project type.

The question: how to present such a number of selections to the user?

I currently have a list box that first allows the user to select the device. Next to the listbox a two-dimensional table (matrix; shows settings for selected device) with main project type as rows and alternative project type as columns, and the checkboxes in each cell.

The issue here is that this UI does not, for example, allow for making a selection of a specific project type for each device at once. (I could make the listbox a multiselect, but it sucks there is no affordance for ctrl-click)

So I am wondering if there is a more flexible editing UI pattern for such a setting?

Edit: I just noticed you can use Balsamiq directly here. Beautiful :)


1 Answer 1


I think I'd keep it simple. It is not like there are that many items in total, so why not use something like:


download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

Optionally, move the Device selection (or whatever other grouping you regard as your "main" category) to a combo box or a tab bar, so you'd basically get a filtered view of the same table. If you don't know what your users might find the main category, You could even just add a filter to the table.

  • Thanks! Since all the three dimensions are basically flattened to just one here, I find my planned solution is actualy a more visualized version of what you propose. The increased ease of creating filtering into such a table view is a good point though. Feb 15, 2013 at 17:35

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