I have a list on my UI. One item in the list is selected. Out of the remaining items, few can be related to this selected item and other may be totally unrelated.

For example, Item4 is selected. No Item1,Item3 and Item5 are related to selected item(Item4) while Item2 is unrelated. I want to show this here on my UI. There should be some proper indication to show that Item 1,2 and 5 are related to Item4 which is currently selected. and Item2 should remain in normal state.

Currently I'm using an outline around related items to show their relationship with selected item but this is not so clear that items with outline means that they are related to selected item in the list. Also this does not look on UI.

Please suggest few better options, if any, to show this relationship.

  • 1
    I think it depends on the related items' utility; are they clickable, are they just a callout. how do you expect users to use the related items will likely dictate how you highlight related items
    – sheriff1
    Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 16:15

1 Answer 1


The better way to show related items is grouping them. Not sure if possible, but the easiest way for the user to associate a relationship between elements is grouping them by categories or similar subjects.

Think on a typical footer, or a good organized submenu.

If not possible I would try to use bold fonts or an icon in related items in order to show a relation between them :)

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