I have two views:

  1. A view where every Category and the subcategories are shown
  2. A view where every Category-Title is shown with a checkbox

If the user unchecks the Category-Title in view 2, the Category and the subcategories in View 1 won't be shown anymore (you can't see them at the same time, so you don't see the "action" of this checkbox live).

In the Google News & Weather App there is just a checkbox for this behaviour. You could imagine, that unchecking this box would result in hiding the category. But in my opinion, this isn't clear at all:


download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

I thought about modifying the usual "mark" of the checkbox, to something more clear, e.g. an eye. So the categories are listed and there is an eye shown on the side for every visible item. I could make it more clear by adding text (visible / not visible), but this wouldn't require a checkbox at all. Or maybe I should use a switch?

2 Answers 2


Take a look at Weinschenk and Barker classification user experience heuristics particularly number 9: Interpretation: there are codified rules that try to guess the user intentions and anticipate the actions needed.

Basically, the result of an action should be implied in some way. I Recommend:

  1. A hover effect. So if the user hovers over the checkbox then it goes semi-invisible - a direct representation of what clicking it will do.
  2. You could combine this with the classic tool tip. However the tool tip isn't as visually enforcing as a hover.
  3. I also recommend using 'outcome descriptions', so instead of just "hide" have "hide: the selected row will no longer be visible".
  4. Use toggleable buttons not checkboxes for this - this is just my subjective opinion, but I think toggleable buttons are more user friendly than checkboxes (they're so much bigger and clickable, plus there's no "do I click the box or the text" question from the user).

Alexeys answer is good, but unless you have a hidden item already, it would be unclear of what happens when you click Hide.


Checkboxes are suitable for your task, but this requires clear message for a user, like Check the items to show, etc.

Also you could use command links, like pictured:
enter image description here

Current state of a category is shown in rather clear way, and the command links view available actions, so the state and action are separated. There is no confusion like toggle buttons deliver.

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