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I have a data-table with the following features:

  • Filtering (client-side)
  • Column sorting (client-side)
  • Pagination (client-side)
  • Configurable number of rows per page.
  • Multi-row selection for bulk operations
  • A bulk operation toolbar, e.g. bulk delete

You can imagine something like this:

enter image description here https://www.gyrocode.com/articles/jquery-datatables-checkboxes/

...with a bulk operation toolbar at the top.

Should row selections be maintained across pages?

If user selects a row X on page 1, navigates to page 2, then navigates back to 1 should row X still be selected?

Should row selections be maintained after changing the number of rows per page?

Initially there are 25 rows per page, user selects row X, user changes number of rows per page to 10, should row X still be selected, even if it no longer fits on the page?

Should row selections be maintained after a column sort?

Again the selected row might be on a different page now.

Should row selections be maintained after changing the filter?

User filters for a keyword, selects row X, user removes the filter, all rows are now included, is row X still selected?

Should bulk actions be allowed if the only selected row is on a page that is not active?

User selects row X on page 1, goes to page 2. Should user be able to delete row X even though it is no longer shown?

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Should row selections be maintained across pages?

Should row selections be maintained after changing the number of rows per page?

Should row selections be maintained after a column sort?

Should bulk actions be allowed if the only selected row is on a page that is not active?

Yes. The actual data is not changing here, so it's impossible to introduce any error in selections. Removing previous selections inhibits usability, especially for bulk actions. Users expect selections to persist across pages, meaning that you should be able to apply those actions even if no selected rows are on your currently visible data page.

Should row selections be maintained after changing the filter?

No. If you change the available data set, you should remove selections. This prohibits the possibility of persisting selections not currently visible in the data set.

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I'm going through the same issue at the moment. Try finding examples where the same pattern appears, for example Gmail, and see if it works for you. There is no wrong or right, as always, "it depends". One thing I've decided upon is to always display the number of selected items in the toolbar. This will help the user understand their selection, even when not all rows are currently visible.

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