Dropdown defaults



Hello all!

I’m pretty stuck on a particular drop down and cannot find examples on UI Semantic or Bootstrap. So, I thought it would be good to pick your brains on this one!

Quick intro, this will be a dropdown on a large survey, and the participant is selecting which bonuses are given to a particular job role. Seen here:


As multiple options can be selected, I want to design it as a multiple select dropdown, like this: (although i am willing to look at different options here)

You will notice a ‘select none’ option, which of course, would deselect all selected options. However, where would you say, is best to place the ‘none’ option? Would you have ‘none’ selected as default? (considering they need to do the same thing for another 20+ job roles). Should the ‘none’ be available away from the dropdown so they do not have to click twice (drop down > select none). My worry is, I don’t want the ‘none’ to have such important significance on the dropdown, nor do i want it to be difficult to find as - for some businesses - many job roles may not have bonuses included in their contracts.

Would love to hear all your thoughts on this, and any examples you have!


Not sure why you are choosing a drop down? That doesn’t seem like the right control for the interface you described.


Hi! Try Exposing Options instead of hiding them.

Each pull down menu that you use, hides a set of actions within which require effort to be discovered. If those hidden options are central along the path to getting things done by your visitors, then you might wish to consider surfacing them a bit more up front. Try to reserve pull down menus for options that are predictable and don’t require new learning as in sets of date and time references (ex: calendars) or geographic sets. Occasionally pull down menu items can also work for those interfaces that are highly recurring in terms of use - actions that a person will use repeatedly over time (ex: action menus). Be careful of using drop downs for primary items that are on your path to conversion.

Source: https://goodui.org/

Then, later you can make multiselection to filter the options if you need. I mean allow the users mark more than one option.


I think @Carlux is on-point here. Can you give us an update with the route you’re taking, @davidquill_ux?


Hello all,

I’ve taken your feedback on board, and i’m still undecided on what path to take.

@jdebari @Carlux - a multiselect dropdown was considered, because the survey was HUGE. If checkboxes were used, each section of the survey would possibly have overwhelmed the user with information. We did think about going down a survey monkey inspired route, where each question shifts up once complete (and questions below and above had a low Opacity) - but our dev’ team are snowed under with work.


Maybe you can post a prototype here?

Can you describe the problem a bit more without showing a solution?

@Carlux had a great solution if there are a lot of options. Is there not a reason you can do that?


Yes, I’ve read through @Carlux ‘s suggestion and link (thank you @Carlux) however the whole reason I’m choosing multi-select drop downs, is to allow the user to focus on one set of options, and to reduce the amount of visible information. The user will also expect to see the options presented on the drop down, but I do still think this effects the experience in some way. Survey monkey’s design is perfect but would require too much dev time for the next sprint.

I shall post a prototype tomorrow so you can see the problem at hand.


Cool! a prototype would be fantastic. Thank you all for your feedback.

How many options (in number) do you show in your dropdown menu? What I mean is remember the Hick’s Law:

“The time it takes to make a decision increases with the number and complexity of choices.”

More choices results in longer to think about these choices and make a decision. Simplify choices for the user to ensure by breaking complex tasks into smaller steps. Avoid overwhelming users by highlighting recommended options.

So if you have a lot of choices then it doesn’t matter if you set a dropdown menu or you show the options directly because in both cases you will show a lot of information. So, do you think you can reduce the options? Sometime we think we need a lot of words but we can simplify them grouping them in one or making groups or show the options in 2 o 3 steps after.

But yes, I know sometimes requeriments are requeriments. Anyway we hope to see your draw.

Thank you!


Sometimes life is sooooo cool!

I hope you can find your solution by this article: https://medium.com/tripaneer-techblog/improving-the-usability-of-multi-selecting-from-a-long-list-63e1a67aab35