UX Tip of the Week: Table Guidelines

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    Girl at computer with forms to manage content on her website

    Yes, we all hate working with them, but tables are often still the best way to present information about complex products on your website . This article explores some guidelines when working with coded tables. 

    Fixed Header

    If your user has to scroll on a table, keep your headers fixed to the top of the table so they can follow along within the rows and columns. 


    Plain Font Style & Distinct Row Style

    Keep your tables font styles simple to maintain optimum legibility. Small row effects like alternating white and light gray can help add row clarity as well.


    Hover Actions

    Rather than having a lot of icons for actions like downloading a row, keep the action hidden behind a hover for interface simplicity.


    Horizontal Scroll

    As your table responds, rather than trying to shrink the width of the table, utilize a horizontal scroll so users can still access all the data but can consume it more easily.



    If your table has hundreds of row, utilize pagination so that users can control how many rows they wish to see at a time.


    Flexible Column Widths

    For added user experience, let users change their own column widths so they can hide information that is less important to them.


    Basic Filtering & Sorting

    Having basic filtering and sorting within a table can go a long way. For example, a football roster could be sorted alphabetically, numerically, or by position.


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    About the Author

    Emily Oskay Gerrick

    Emily joined the Marketpath team in December of 2014 as a User Experience (UX) Designer. She serves as the product designer for Marketpath CMS, and the lead designer for the Pro Services division. Emily works directly with clients to establish their online marketing goals and outlines any functional requirements the custom website may need before designing client websites.

    Emily obtained her Masters of Science in Information Architecture & Knowledge Management with a concentration in User Experience Design from Kent State University in 2018. She previously attended Purdue University and graduated from Purdue University in May of 2013 with a B.A. in Visual Communication Design and Computer Science. In her free time, Emily enjoys cooking, drawing and designing, traveling the world, and spending time with her family and friends.

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