Dropdown

A dropdown allows the user to select an option from a list. Dropdowns enables users to make a quick selection of the available options for a specific entry.

Short description

  • A Dropdown allows a user to select a value from a series of options.
  • A Dropdown Multiselect allows multiple selections. Both are commonly used in forms and filters.

When and how to use it

Dropdowns conserve screen space and prevent the users from making unnecessary mistakes.

For selecting elements from fixed choices, use one of the following options (according to the space you have):

  • Less than approximately 5 options: use radio buttons or toggle selector
  • More than approximately 5 options: use a drop-down or toggle selector

 

Behaviour

In the Dropdown multiselect, “Search” is optional and could be used when there are a long list of options. “Select all” in the search result view is also optional and should only be used if there is a good use case.

The mobile version uses the "fold-out" behaviour.

 

Do's and don'ts 

Do

  • Have the label visible when the dropdown is open. Labels provide scope and direction by reminding users what they are choosing. 
  • Only use a default option if it is very likely that users will select that option. The risk with having a default option is that users might not be aware of the dropdown and they will move forward with the wrong option.

Don't

  • Don’t use dropdowns for data that is highly familiar to your users, such as the day, month, or year of their birth. Users are most likely faster when typing in familiar data than to select the option in a dropdown.
  • Don’t use very long dropdowns that require scrolling. They make it impossible for users to see all the choices in one glance.
  • Don’t use Dropdown multiselect if it’s possible to show all options in the first view (approx. 5 options). Consider using checkboxes instead.

Specification

Colours

  • Label: 16 px, medium weight
  • Text: 16 px
  • Normal: Grey 6 (border)
  • Hover: Blue (border)
  • Selected: Dark blue 2 (border)
  • Opened: Dark blue 2 (border)
    • Item hover: Blue
    • Item selected: Dark blue 2
    • Item selected and hover: Blue 2
    • Item selected, but not hover: Dark blue 2 
  • Disabled: Grey 7 (border), Grey 8 (filled)

 

Sizes

Width

  • The list of the dropdown is generally the same width as the dropdown
  • If the content of the list is wider than the dropdown, then show the full content, regardless.
  • Work with the content so that it is not absurdly long.

States