I am wondering if anyone can help me figure out a way to best display complex levels of details for a Tax Rate setting within our software, which is communicated to a point of sale. All this is being done as a reworking of an existing product previously designed and developed by a team of developers.

Users create Classes within our system, such as Footwear, that can then be broken into subclasses (Men, women, Youth, Racing) and then even more so, by a specific brand/color/model, below that initial subclass. When setting up Tax Rates for these items within their stores, a user can select a base class (footwear) or one of the granular subclasses below when they want to apply a specific Rate to a selection of item Classes (such as a Tax Rate of 0% for Educational items during special dates of the year, or even no tax on Five-star notebooks, ever).

I am trying to create a detailed view of this information for each Tax Rate, but because users are the ones who create this Class hierarchy themselves, I am unsure of how to display summative data for their Class/Subclass selections. I can't generalize using just the class because you don't have to choose every subclass within a Class.

Has anyone dealt with something like this before and found a solution for displaying what was selected in a clear summary?`!Current Class Selection Dropdown & Tax Rate Page Design

Page Redesign Wireframe

  • Do a wireframe or screenshot example of your current implementation to better illustrate your problem?
    – Hynes
    Commented May 20, 2014 at 13:50
  • @Hynes Ask and you shall receive!
    – bzav
    Commented May 20, 2014 at 14:13
  • So you're looking for help with a detailed summary view of the various tax rates that a user could set up for products?
    – Hynes
    Commented May 25, 2014 at 2:14

1 Answer 1


One pattern to consider for this is the master-detail pattern.

The highest level summary could be displayed on the master view (ex: "three classes selected") to communicate to the user there is or is not more detail they might be interested in viewing. Example:

Example: Master View

In this example, if they want to know which of the three classes were selected, clicking that text (or details on the left) would take them to the detail view.

enter image description here

In my experience, some users will want a lot of data displayed in the master view for the use case of comparing two rows of data. In this example, the tax rate is added to the tree table for that reason.

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