I have a form that has a number of select dropdown boxes. Some of them have large number of items (200+) so I have converted them to using the jquery select2 plugin which works great as you can search inline.

The issue is that some of the dropdowns only have a few items (10-20) so I kept as regular select drop downs (as I don't need the advanced features) but it now looks odd that half the form has the jquery select2 style and half don't. This is the visual difference:

enter image description here

So my question is:

should i convert all of the items to select2 dropdown so there is a uniform style on the form even for one that don't really required the functionality just so the page is uniform

Any other suggestions?

  • Have you heard of the consistency heuristic? Feb 9, 2016 at 8:02

3 Answers 3


It will look better if they are consistent, however you shouldn't have functionality you don't need.

Have you tried using css to style the select so that it just looks like the select2?


I'm sure you've figured this out by now but for anyone who finds this later - I would definitely go with the uniform style.

In Select2 you don't have to display the search. You can use the minimumResultsForSearchproperty in your initialization.

So it would look like:

  minimumResultsForSearch: 20

Then it would only show search if there are 20 options or more. Alternatively you can set it to a negative number (i.e. -1) to disable it altogether.


Watching the same controls, users expect the same functionality, but this will be wrong in your case.

This could lead to strange behavior, like re-opening drop-down list again having in mind: " The first time it didn't worked, maybe re-opening helps".

So your decision is more close to visual consistency, but form follows the function, so functional consistency is better for me.

  • I don't understand your answer. Are you suggesting make all select2 or have a combination?
    – leora
    May 4, 2014 at 15:37
  • @leora, sorry for non-clarity, differentiating according to functionality is better, so try a combination. May 5, 2014 at 12:40

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