Our current implementation gives the user an option to select a category from a drop-down and to add new category. The problem is that this button under the drop-down does not work very well.

1) Should we use radio buttons so the user can switch between "use existing" or "add new"

2) Use drop-down with button "add new" inside it.

It would be nice that the component would be mobile friendly as well since this is a responsive page.

Example of current solution: enter image description here

Thanks for your help.

  • What does the user need to do in order to create a new category? Just set a name?
    – Matt Obee
    Commented Feb 23, 2015 at 15:37
  • Yes, only one input field with name is needed. Commented Feb 23, 2015 at 15:47

1 Answer 1


If you're prepared to put the work in to make it happen (it's not always an out-of-the-box control option), a combo-box is your friend here. The user can do any of the following:

  • Type a whole new entry as if it was a text box
  • Type a few characters and get an autocomplete dropdown for common/preset values
  • Click the dropdown arrow & select from common/preset values without having to type

That way the whole lot can be done from a single control and in a single interaction, rather than having to click & type. They can also just start typing to see if the value they want already exists, rather than having to scroll through a dropdown that could easily get quite long to find out it's not there.

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