I am building a software where a lot of the information is placed in tables. Selecting a single row from the table loads a section with the most important information about the entry. There are also action buttons linked to the row entry.

In addition the table has a checkboxes for multiple selection. The user can select multiple rows and can perform action to multiples rows.

I am facing problems trying to figure out the flow between single and multiple selection. When the user selects multiple rows with the checkboxes and then clicks someplace else on the table, what do you believe is more intuitive

1 -the checked rows get deselected and a the row where the user clicks gets selected instead(showing information about the single row)

2 - should a multiple selection flow turn on - allowing the selection of rows on click on the row (not just the checkbox)

3 - are there any other options I am missing?

The users of the software are beginners so I would prefer not to use multiple selection on ctrl and click and keep the checkboxes.

Thanks in advance

1 Answer 1


The most straightforward approach for the user is to keep the behavior when clicking a checkbox and clicking a row independent and internally consistent. In other words, clicking the checkbox should always select/deselect the row and clicking the row should always expand/collapse the "important info" content.

Therefore, if the user has checked a row via the checkbox, and she clicks another row, the 1st row should remain selected and the 2nd row should expand.

A common interaction pattern on mobile devices is to have a long press trigger a "selection mode" (e.g. long pressing an app icon on iOS to go into "edit mode") so if this application is intended for a touch device you could consider using that in addition to the checkboxes to allow users to toggle between expanding and selecting.

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