So here is a problem I constantly struggle with; How to communicate that the user can pick either all items in a given list vs. all items in the list and optionally all new items that may be added to that list.

Consider the following example; let's say we want to assign a user to one or more groups. Most of the time, an administrator will pick one or two groups from a list. However, for special users, users who have multi-hat positions, for instance, administrators want to pick all groups, including new groups that may be created in the future.

Just wanted to hear what you guys think about this.

Here is a not so great example I hope to improve on;

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  • Thank you all for the feedback, but I think the example of user assignment to groups is skewing the discussion towards permissions management which this is not what this is all about. I am trying to find a generic solution to assign one object to one, some, all, all+new items (any item) in the list. Perhaps assignment of a user to location(s), or an apple to basket(s) would have been better choices. – user41234 Apr 17 '18 at 12:16
  • I might suggest rephrasing "new" to "future" because new means that the group exists now and was created since some previous action like the last time this dialogue was opened. Think of a list of email messages. I had to read your description to understand what "new" meant. – msanford Apr 18 '18 at 18:09

you could remove the "all and new" CTA.

If the user presses "All" show a checkbox (or equivalent) on top of the list of groups which states "assign user to all future groups too".

This way it is clear that "future group" is not just another group.

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  • Agreed, some toggle-able input indicating users should be assigned to any future groups is the sensible way to do this. Not just because it's more clear, but also... in user41234's example, how would the admin turn off the "all and new" thing once it has been turned on for a given user? – tobybot Apr 18 '18 at 16:17

"All and future" with a tooltip explaining further?

If implementing this, I'd at least want an easy way to see what users are in what groups, to quickly notice who might get too many permissions

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You appear to be describing what is logically another group. You problem arises because the groups you have are defined as finite whereas your problem group is not. I suggest you might consider adding a Group 0, say, that automatically gets new privileges when they become available. This would have to be done programmatically on a timer, say, but it would simplify your UX.

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