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We are currently re-working our profile pages in our software and would like to explore the alternatives of having a large amount of tick boxes for users to select to attain certain privileges.

The page currently can hold up to 12 box options, which seems excessive. I have scoured the internet for possible alternatives, Any insight or guidance appreciated.

here is a screen grab of our current checkbox list:

enter image description here

  • Is there any good way to break them into categories? – Perchik May 21 '14 at 19:43
  • They are all really quite different privileges, otherwise segmentation would be a good option for this. – IronBasset May 21 '14 at 20:10
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    Worth noting that they are already segmented by default (in columns). Segmentation by group function (or some other clustering) looks possible. – uxzapper May 23 '14 at 7:40
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Depending on the usage, a series of about 10 checkboxes is fine. I wouldn't call 12 excessive. I would call about 25+ excessive.

On possible option if you have ~100+ options is to have a text field where the user starts typing the name of the option they want to add. Stack Exchange uses this exact feature for the tags field when asking a question. Each valid item gets converted into a tag, and as you type you receive auto-complete suggestions based on what you've typed so far. But this sort of input doesn't make sense when all of the options can easily fit in a small space, such as the 12 items you're mentioning.

As Perchik commented, see if you can group them together. Beyond that, you don't really have a problem.

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An alternative is to have two lists side-by-side where the user can move items from the "unused" list to the "used" list. This could work well if you have something like 100+ items to choose from but the user is usually only interested in seeing what they already have selected.

Not the best looking example, but something like this:

two lists

  • I feel that this pattern is the opposite of direct manipulation. I would prefer the checkboxes over it... – Leths May 23 '14 at 11:00
  • I've seen this implemented well, and implemented poorly. One must-have is being able to double-click an entry to move it to the other list. – mouseas Sep 8 '14 at 22:17

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