10 Design Tips for a Better Data Table Interface

Best practices to improve your tables

UX Movement


Most data tables are hard to decipher and dreadful to view. Spending hours looking at tables can feel like a burdensome chore. You can take the burden off users by putting more effort into the interface design. All it takes is following a few best design practices.

As a result, you’ll turn your ordinary table into an extraordinary one that’s a pleasure to view. Your data will appear more lucid, allowing users to take action on them more easily.

Here are ten simple ideas to improve the user experience of your data tables today.

1. Turn gray nav bars into tab views.

A navigation bar doesn’t have to look like a bar. You can use tab views for a more minimalist look. Your table will have less visual clutter that won’t distract users from the data.

2. Turn quantity indicators into numeric markers.

Instead of using “(number)” to quantify the contents in each tab, you can use numeric markers. They’ll make the labels look less busy and the numbers more apparent.

3. Turn bulk action links into bordered buttons.

Bulk actions in the form of links aren’t easy to see and click. You can make the hit targets more visible by using bordered buttons. You can also make the bulk actions more understandable by placing icons next to the labels.

4. Highlight the header with a color tint.

The header is a crucial table row because it contains names that help users identify the data type. Therefore, highlighting with a color tint allows the user’s eyes to gravitate toward it when scanning. From there, they can find the data type they want quicker.

5. Accent the icons for sorting columns.

Sorting columns is a practical action that often goes unnoticed because gray icons are hard to see. If you emphasize the arrows with an accent color, users will notice and use the sorting action more.

6. Highlight the selected row with a…



UX Movement

There’s a good and bad way to design user interfaces. Our publication shows you which way gives the best user experience. https://uxmovement.substack.com