The problem is to implement dropdown with high complexity. Especially we need to view multi drop down with continents and countries. Search is also required. We implemented solution for it but it looks ugly for my customers. Can you help me and give me some advice to improve this dropdown. Please see screenshots with current solution below: enter image description here

enter image description here

  • Is there any reason for having nested dropdowns? Why couldn't the user just search for a country/state outright?
    – Brian
    Sep 1, 2015 at 12:02
  • The customer wants nested dropdowns. Sep 1, 2015 at 12:49

1 Answer 1


Some suggestions on improving the dropdown:

1. Change continent grouping to more general list
Asia and Oceania

This list requires less mental efforts in selecting the target item, it's more rough, but more efficient. Your original list requires good knowledges in geography and for some users it will be hard to select appropriate item.
enter image description here

2. Limit the list to two levels
Three level hierarchy (Continent->Country->State) requires too many physical efforts while selecting the destination. Hierarchy (Continent->Country) in information architecture provides support for selecting the destination, but too many physical efforts is bad UX. Provide the same additional information, but in a different way, see the image below:
enter image description here
The Country hierarchical level was changed to inline info

3. Test the UI
"looks ugly for my customers" is bad feedback, but it's the good sign of bad UX. Test the UI with objective metrics: number of errors and time of task execution. The less errors user makes and less time he spends on the task, the more satisfied he is.

  • My vote goes to #2; it seems be a good compromise between simplification and meeting the clients' request for a nested list.
    – Brian
    Sep 3, 2015 at 16:21

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