I have a table that has about 6-7 columns. Kind of like this:

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The user will be able to filter the results in the table which (in the end) will make the rows display the same values (except one of them).

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What do you think would be the best approach? To not display the columns that all looks the same (since the user is well aware of what he is filtering out) or to leave all the columns and make the user browse through more columns than necessary?


  • 2
    Just a quick shot: do not hide information used for per-row comparison. To hide less useful columns is another feature, not something directly related to filters. Of course after user testing you may opt to automatically hide some columns together with filtering but I wouldn't do it a priori Mar 23, 2016 at 7:32

1 Answer 1


If you remove the columns then you are forcing the user to remember the values in all those columns. Forcing users to remember information increases the cognitive load. However, the superfluous repetition will also increase cognitive load because the interesting column is harder to see.

If you want to make the unfiltered column stand out from the filtered ones without hiding data, you could opt for highlighting it, or perhaps subtly graying out the filtered columns. Then the user can easily distinguish them, and yet still see the rest of the row if required. Visual in relation to the above thoughts

  • Thank you for your input! I forgot to mention in my question that the filtering tool will be located right next to the table which carries the information about what filters are selected. The user will not have to remember all the information. Do you think this will change things? But I do like the second one of your suggestions. That one will make the important information to stand out :)
    – efrethe
    Mar 23, 2016 at 12:07
  • @tessfred It depends. You should also think about scenarios relating to copy/paste. Pretty much all users of all the grids in all applications I have ever made have wanted to be able to copy and paste rows of filtered data somewhere else.
    – Franchesca
    Mar 23, 2016 at 15:08

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