Is there a thumb rule about multiple views containing selected items?

Currently in my application they do all get the same colored border but I think it can be improved: enter image description here

The only idea I have is to alter brightness/saturation for the 'selected state', for instance less color compared to focused. Is that correct?

  • +1 neat problem. to help us out a little what does Outline mean? What does that selection mean? Apr 30, 2015 at 2:36
  • In my opinion a separate color for the focussed item is necessary to tell the user where she/he is currently operating on (especially with keyboard navigation) and she/he has successfully clicked (selected/changed) the item. While there can be multiple items in selected state, there should only be one item in focused state. May 1, 2015 at 7:39

1 Answer 1


Assuming the order of the selection has a significance, I would show that difference in significance by increasing the brightness or contrast.

However if the difference in selections in all those areas are just as important I wouldnt change a thing.

Heres a real world example

select state- New York, select city -> NYC , select street-> 6th avenue

I would have the select street a different or more extreme contrast difference than select city. Because its kind of like a stack and thats the way you would bubble off or drill down. The most signficant selection is the most important.

Where if your selections where.

Select Pants -> Zubaz, Select Shirt -> Football Jersey, Select Shoes -> Jordan Sneakers 

I would leave all of them the same because the selections are all just as significant to the user. One isnt more or less important. And the order of operations doesnt matter.

In short differentiate the selections if certain ones are deemed more important or the order of selections matters.

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