I have a list of items. You can either ship all items or select the ones to ship. I want the disabled 'Ship Selected' to be visible because I want the users to know they have that option (another queue beside the checkbox next to it).

My question is, when you select some items should I:

  1. Disable the 'Ship all'

  2. Remove 'Ship all' button

  3. Have 'Ship all' still available but add a secondary button styling.


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3 Answers 3


Personally (and of course, "I am not your users"), I don't see much wrong with leaving "Ship All" enabled. If you're worried about people accidentally clicking "Ship All" after they've made a selection, you might either want to ask if that's what they really want to do, or just make it very clear on the next screen that's what's going to happen so they can back out and re-select.

Changing the "Ship Selected" button label to include the number of selected items (e.g. "Ship 2 Selected Items") might also reduce any potential ambiguity between the two buttons, when there's a selection active.

  • Huge upvote up for the "Ship 2 Selected Items" suggestion! Commented Feb 23, 2017 at 19:44
  • Very good point, at first I was having numbers on the Ship All (20 items) but it makes much more sense to add it on the Ship Selected button. Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 9:05

This is a very interesting question. I think that the buttons create more cognitive load than they should. I would try to break down this small process in 2 steps. One is the selection and the second is making the choice of shipping.

Something like this one: Alternative way

  • There are serious issues with this design in that the all checkbox is both a control and shows a state, which, may not be reflective to the individual items. Say only two out of the three are selected; what should the 'items' checkbox show and what happens when you click on it. There are many discussions on this issue on this site.
    – Izhaki
    Commented Feb 23, 2017 at 19:58
  • @izhaki I believe that in the case that 2/3 are selected, then the checkbox "Items" won't be checked. If then you click on the checkbox "Items" then all of them would be selected. I am really interested in what other people think. Could you send me a discussion on this matter? Thank you for your feedback. Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 10:35
  • Google: checkboxes "select all" site: http://ux.stackexchange.com/ or just head to an answer by this protagonist for a quick fix.
    – Izhaki
    Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 10:57

Imagine yourself at the bakery and there are only 3 cheese-and-onion pastries left. Then it goes:

"What would you like madam?"

"I'll have them all please." (Pointing at the nearly empty tray of cheese-and-onion pastries).

"Do you want the three of them or all of them?"

Point is that if two sets are exactly the same, why offer both? And how would you argue omitting a button saying "Ship all but the last one"?

Without more context it's hard to give a good answer: How many items may be on this list on average? What is the actual user story and use case?

But I'd imagine you could just start with all of the items ticked, and as Calum suggested, have the button label changing upon a change in selection to say:

  • "Ship 1 item"
  • "Ship 2 items"
  • "Ship all 3 items".

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