Chips: Enhancing Interactive Element and Data Representation

Chips in UI design refer to compact, interactive elements used to represent discrete units of information, options, or actions within a digital interface. They serve various purposes such as filtering, selection, or displaying tags, offering users clear and actionable visual cues for managing and interacting with content effectively.

What are Chips?

Chips, also known as tags or tokens, are small, modular elements typically displayed as rounded rectangles containing text, icons, or both. They are used to represent categories, labels, filters, or selected options within a larger set of data or content. Chips are interactive, allowing users to interact with them through selection, deselection, or removal actions.

Key Characteristics of Chips

  1. Modular Design: Chips are designed to be visually distinct yet compact, allowing them to be stacked, grouped, or displayed inline as needed.
  2. Actionable: Users can interact with chips to select or filter content, toggle settings, or perform specific actions within the interface.
  3. Visual Feedback: Chips often change appearance (e.g., color, border, icon) to indicate selection states or interactive feedback to user actions.
  4. Versatility: Used in various contexts such as forms, search filters, selection controls, and content tagging to enhance usability and functionality.

Benefits of Using Chips

  1. Visual Organization: Simplify complex information or content by categorizing and visually organizing data into manageable units using chips.
  2. User Interaction: Provide intuitive interaction patterns for selecting, filtering, or navigating through options or categories within the interface.
  3. Accessibility: Enhance accessibility by providing clear labels and interactive states that are perceivable and operable for all users.
  4. Flexibility: Adapt to different screen sizes and resolutions, maintaining usability and functionality across desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.

Best Practices for Chip Design

  1. Clear Labels: Use concise and descriptive text on chips to ensure clarity and understanding of their purpose or category.
  2. Visual Consistency: Maintain consistent styling (colors, shapes, sizes) across chips to reinforce visual hierarchy and user familiarity.
  3. Interactive States: Clearly differentiate between selected, hovered, and inactive states with visual cues like color changes or icons.
  4. Accessibility Considerations: Ensure chips are accessible to all users, including keyboard navigation and screen reader compatibility.

Examples of Chip Applications

  1. Filtering Options: Displaying filter categories (e.g., price range, size, color) in e-commerce product listings.
  2. Tagging Content: Tagging articles or posts with topics or themes to facilitate search and navigation in content management systems.
  3. Selection Controls: Allowing users to select preferences or settings (e.g., language, notifications) in user profile settings.
  4. Multi-Selection: Enabling users to select multiple items or options simultaneously, such as in email clients for managing contacts or messages.


Chips play a crucial role in UI design by enhancing interaction, organization, and usability within digital interfaces. Whether used for filtering, tagging, or selection purposes, chips provide users with clear visual cues and intuitive controls to manage and interact with content effectively. By adhering to best practices in design and accessibility, designers can leverage chips to improve user experience, streamline navigation, and enhance overall interface functionality.

Ondrej Zoricak
Ondrej Zoricak