I have a table with a bunch of data that is connected to a map. The table row and table column can both be highlighted through different ways

  1. Rows get highlighted when the user clicks on the corresponding city on the map or on the row itself in the table (Then the map highlights).

  2. Columns are highlighted when the user sorts by that column (ascending or descending).

Here is a quick excel table screenshot to show which cell I am talking about

UX Table


Which column highlight takes priority when there is an overlap like in the screenshot above?

  • Why would column and row use different background colors for highlighting?
    – Crissov
    Sep 16, 2015 at 21:58
  • I can see why you'd highlight a row, but why highlight a column just because it is sorted?
    – Izhaki
    Sep 16, 2015 at 23:20
  • Currently, the color on the column is to show that it is the column is sorted. Because of limited space, I can't put any kind of sort arrow at the top in the header
    – BDD
    Sep 17, 2015 at 1:32

1 Answer 1


There are a number of possible answers that I can see here:

Merge point: Use a pale tint for both the column and the row highlight and a stronger tint for the resulting cell where the two cross.

Importance: Is one axis of the table more important than the other? If so, the more important should override the less important.

Flexible: Allow the user to choose which highlight overrides which by applying the highlights in the order the user clicks - i.e. second click overrides first click.

  • I think that is a pretty complete answer. Sep 17, 2015 at 13:48

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