We have an app that have 3 tabs: Pending, In Progress, Closed.

Now one "issue" will go through all these 3 stages. First it's Pending, then it's it's in Progress, then it's Closed.

However, we find it a bit odd if an issue in Pending changed its status to In Progress and disappears from the Pending tab (the status change can be system-triggered, rather than the user-triggered). As Pending tab is the default view, for the user, the "issue" seems to have disappeared (but it actually just moved to In Progress).

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How to address this issue?

4 Answers 4


I suggest you use a "snackbar" message informing the user of those recent changes:

Issue 1 was moved to In Progress

If several changes were made you could inform about it in a more general message:

Several Issues changed their state recently. VIEW

which opens a dialog or similar with a list of all recent changes.

Material design: Snackbars & toasts


First of all, I think that, as a core of Kanban approach, this should not be an issue for the Users, as there is a natural connection between swiping an item right and the fact that it lands in the column on the right.

As such, supporting it with just an onboarding screen saying "As you swipe items they land in the tabs on left or right." would be just enough in this case, and even this would be something necessary for Users who are not familiar with Kanban.

However, I think that this app, Agile Tasks, has done it quite right. Upon moving a card to another stage, the counters change. This lets Users know how many items are in particular tabs, especially in the ones that are inactive at the moment.

If you are still not convinced, upon moving a card the target tab could blink for a while, or the counter could zoom in and blink etc. - but I believe that it is not necessary.


As there is, apparently, a need to reflect a situation when a change to the cards happens in the background, I believe that showing temporarily a "ghost" version of the card (greyed out, with a comment that this card has been moved to e.g. "Closed" could be a good idea. These "ghost cards" could be dismissed manually on a swipe down to refresh gesture.

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  • I think this is fine if it's user-triggered. What if the change status is system-triggered? Apr 11, 2017 at 8:29
  • Oh, so this is the case. Ok, improving answer, gimme a sec :) Apr 11, 2017 at 8:31

I would recommend the best action would be to highlight the tab in a separate colour (lighter blue?) when an item has changed on that tab and the end user has not looked at it yet.

Perhaps when the end user opens the tab with changes you could show which items were recently changed with a border on the left of the item, or by changing the background of it using the same light blue.

If they have seen the changes previously then there is no need to do this, so just the first time after something has changed


What you can do is:

  1. Remember the positions of the items in each category when the user last saw them.
  2. When the user return you can show the positions of items as the user left them for a 1 second only

  3. Use an animation to depict items transitioning from one category to another.

This way they will see for a second the old arrangement, and then see what happened in the mean time when they were gone. However, if there are lots of tasks and lots of changes at the same time this could confuse users.

Other thing you can do, as @user99791 and @Dominik Oslizlo suggested is to put numbers in front of each category so they would be able to do the math without counting.

  • I just elaborated on my question that the change can be system-triggered. Using the apple analogy, means that you put 3 apples on one basket, then leave and come back to see just 2 apples. I think after a while you will realize it's moved to another basket but there's this little confusion initially as to where the other apple went. Apr 11, 2017 at 8:33

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