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I have a dropdown with several options. For each option, I need to present additional information that the user might want to use in making their selection. Currently, the additional information is indicated using icons that the user would be (generally) familiar with from other areas of the site.

Example Use case:
The user needs to choose from a list of credit cards. One card is always set as the default. The user can also have shared credit cards on the list.

enter image description here


Question: What's the best way to present this additional information? Do the icons make sense, or should the information be presented more explicitly?
Secondary Question: Is the current order of information understandable?

  • is the use of a dropdown mandatory? how many space do you have to do this? is a web or mobile app? both? – Alejandro Veltri Oct 21 '14 at 6:34
  • @rewobs yup, a dropdown is mandatory, the use case example is a pretty decent approximation of the space i have, it's a responsive web app so it's got to accommodate web and mobile but it's not a native mobile app. – rach oune Oct 21 '14 at 16:03
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I wasn't able to find anything specifically addressing this in the UI guidelines from Apple or Microsoft, but Chrome uses a similar method of conveying information in the Omnibox. It uses the globe to indicate a website and a magnifying glass to indicate a search. Chrome also uses color to distinguish the different types of selection, which may be beneficial in your situation depending on how important it is to draw users' attention to the differences (does the fact that the card is shared change anything, or is it simply additional information you're providing?)

Chrome Omnibox

To specifically answer your questions:

  1. I think that your current method is best, with a possible addition of adding colors. As far as the icons themselves: I think that they both could be ambiguous only seeing that screenshot. If they are used consistently throughout the site, perhaps they would be clear to your users. You could consider adding the words "shared" and "default" following their respective icons.

  2. I think the current order is understandable. If the users can identify what the icons mean, I don't think that the order will be any problem.

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