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I am working on a program where many options have sub-options, and it is possible to have different values, or a 'master' value. Currently there is a checkbox dedicated to it, but I was planning to try and de-clutter the menus a bit, and substitute that for a simple lock graphic in place.

E.g.:

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

The idea would be for the lock only to be visible when the line is highlighted. When set, it would lock the value of all options to the that of the first one. There'd be a small tooltip on hover. Is this good UI?

EDIT

Right now, it looks like this:

mockup

download bmml source

The app is an industrial one. Each option can have multiple values at the same time. I wanted to move from something explicit to something that only shows when needed to be able to free the screen from some clutter.

  • I can't get the question, could you provide more information, like what was the previous variant, some context of the app and so on. – Kristiyan Lukanov Mar 8 '16 at 15:03
  • @KristiyanLukanov Added some context, is that better? – MKII Mar 8 '16 at 15:12
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I'd say there is a expectancy discrepancy in your layout. I would not expect the lock to set the options to the first one but instead as some sort of safety feature that will lock the options until I unlock them again, similarly to the lock function in Mac OS. Maybe your tooltip helps for clarification, but the initial confusion remains. Generally, displaying recurring options only in the context of a user hovering over the specific element is a good idea, but should be considered on the basis of its frequency of use.

It's hard to come up with a concrete solution, as your description is quite vague and lacks sufficient context.

  • Would it be any better if the lock was next to the first option? Also, I am sorry that the description is vague, but the fact is that the above setup is used for many different lists of options, so it's kind of difficult to go into more detail. What type of info should I add anyway, for such a question? – MKII Mar 9 '16 at 7:42

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