I know that there is a very similar question to the question that I am asking here:

Expected behaviour after file upload

So I will do my best to highlight the difference.

What I am referring to is the file add button that is often seen as part of a file upload form (or dialog) and the behaviour it should have. I would like to know if it is standard behaviour to also upload the file automatically when you click on Add File (is this the expected behaviour from a user) under a couple of different scenarios. Obviously if there is another button for uploading the file then the Add File button would also serve this purpose.

So what is the expected user behaviour (and UI interactions) when:

  1. there are multiple files to be added
  2. there is no upload button visible

Are there other scenarios that I haven't considered?

1 Answer 1


Re: So what is the expected user behaviour (and UI interactions) when: there are multiple files to be added?

It appears to me, the standard behaviour (or most popular) is to UPLOAD each file, first. The browser will hold the files in the DOM. After the file is uploaded and confirmed, the option to ADD file can be completed second.

In my experience, multiple files need to be uploaded one at a time (do not offer multiple select in the File Browser). Or suggest the user to compress multiple files into one ZIP file, UPLOAD second, and finally the ADD button becomes enabled.

If multiple UPLOAD FILES need to performed before the final ADD FILES button is hit, be sure to offer a directory of all the uploaded files AND the option to delete any of the uploaded files.

  • +1 is this more from a technical/implementation point of view rather than what the user expects? I don't think the user would necessarily care, but they may expect certain behaviour depending on how the user interface is presented to them.
    – Michael Lai
    Dec 7, 2017 at 8:37
  • Yes to both: it is technically popular as well as UX popular. There are a lot of benefits from a Developers POV to preload a file to the DOM first, and then save to the server second. "Would the user care" is not a measurable encounter BUT users do prefer familiar encounters. And what I described is a very common series of encounters to upload a file.
    – jhurley
    Dec 8, 2017 at 15:08

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