After loading some files I get a table that looks like the following:

Screenshot of table

The picture above shows that 49 rows were processed, of which 33 are okay, 8 have warnings and 8 have errors. Now, each rows with warnings or errors can have a list of errors. I want to show them to the user. What is the best way to show these errors in detail?

Update 1

I could have many errors, because I have to check the file contents with some values stored inside the database.

For example I have the entity customers with some fields (f1,f2,fn) and the errors message could be:

F1  Database:valueReadfromdb File:valueReadFromfile
F2  Database:valueReadfromdb File:valueReadFromfile
F3  Database:valueReadfromdb File:valueReadFromfile

The number of errors depends on how many differences i found between database and file

  • Can you show an icon in the row with a tooltip on hover/touch? This way you can have as many errors as you want without creating a huge table.
    – Varedis
    Jul 21, 2015 at 15:59
  • Do you really limited to tabular data representation? How verbose the error messages are? Jul 21, 2015 at 16:21
  • Could you show what are the errors? Jul 22, 2015 at 14:20
  • @rewobs I updated my question
    – Skizzo
    Jul 22, 2015 at 14:47
  • is that the only possible error for the rows? (diff values from the database). Additionally, the table that is compared with the database is filled inline or uploaded through a file or how? Jul 22, 2015 at 14:59

5 Answers 5


You can either have:-

  1. An icon for indicating error/warning and mouse over tool-tip to show all.
  2. Or, have error/warning column in the table showing few errors/warning with provide more/less link/action to view all errors/warning and less to collapse.
  • In the option 2 I could open a new panel to show the errors details?
    – Skizzo
    Jul 22, 2015 at 7:32
  • Not a bad idea unless user is expected to open errrors only for few rows. Because opening and closing errors in a panel is time consuming with multiple clicks.
    – Chetan
    Jul 22, 2015 at 9:51

Build a sub-interface for working through the errors

In more advanced version, you could put together a slideshow modal that will represent each inadequate entry as a separate "card." The user could then gradually work through all the entries, solving the problematic lines one by one.

This requires additional dev resources, of course, but it could really facilitate the user's work process.

  • Can you give me some examples about this way to do? Do you know some application/web app where I could see to understand how can i do?
    – Skizzo
    Jul 22, 2015 at 13:50

Couldn't you have another column in the table called 'Errors' and list any errors in that? Then you could just have the table ordered by the Errors Column when it loads with Errors so they were positioned at the top.


Are there actions associated with each error/warning? In other words, if a user were to see that row 10 had 3 errors, could they address/fix them via this interface?

  • This response functions better as a comment than an answer.
    – Mayo
    Oct 20, 2015 at 19:16

You're halfway there with your UI. Here's what comes to my mind.

Step 1: Provide a high level summary informing users that 1 or more rows contain errors

You've already provide this with the yellow and red triangles at the top right of the table. If the errors are something you want the users to address immediately, then I would recommend making that a little more prominent. The current status being off to the right de-prioritize this info. It's almost like saying "Yup, we processed your request. Oh and by the way, you have 8 warnings and 8 errors."

Step 2: Help users locate the errors

Within your table, provide some way for the user to scan to spot rows that need their attention. This can be a small "notices" icon column to the very left. Or it can be as low rent as a thicker yellow/red border along the row identifier (typically 1st column).

Step 3: Inform users about the error and provide method to fix it

Final step is to present the detailed list of errors for users to fix. I would recommend placing this prominently in the row's edit form (if user can directly fix this on the table) or the individual record's edit screen. Until the user gets to a point in which they can start address the issues, presenting them with a large list will only be information overload.


I've made some assumptions in this solution

  • Errors are row specific (i.e. error does not arise from an interaction between 2 or more rows.)
  • User can drill down to the row to edit it to fix the issue.

If these two conditions aren't met, you may want to consider an alternative solution.

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