I have an app where the user can set some stuff and there's an 'advanced options' button where the user can set secondary options that aren't required to complete the primary task.

Some internal people want to list the options that are set so the user can quickly check to see if anything is set.

It seems a little counterintuitive to disclose options just to list them underneath the button.


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Is this bad practice?

What common conventions are used to show the user that advanced options other than the default are set?

  • 1
    Does that "something else: Off" option mean the "Something else" input is off/disabled? If so, I would display those options in some manner such as having "Off" labeled in red under the "Something else" input label. Otherwise it seems redundant to list options if the user can just click the menu and see what they have selected.
    – DasBeasto
    Jun 25, 2015 at 15:44
  • 1
    @DasBeasto oops, I didn't mean to repeat my fake options. Let me make them more clear.
    – alanj
    Jun 25, 2015 at 15:46

1 Answer 1


Whether or not this is bad practice depends on the type of user this interface is catering to. If a majority of users will find the advanced information useful to know, leaving it as is makes sense. If it's only a minority of users, then this information might confuse them.

If you're looking for some middle-ground, simply have the button hide/show the advanced options. Most interfaces I've come across with advanced options function similar to this. However, some don't, such as Stack Exchange sites showing advanced formatting tips to all users (more technical user base).

As for indicating there are settings other than the default set, you could try the following:

  • Small indicator, such as an asterisk showing changes have been made: *Advanced Options
  • Icon change. Pencil for setting, gear for changed as an example.
  • Text change. Set Advanced Options and Show Advanced Options once set.

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