I'm working on a UI that will allow users to save thousands of records. They also have the ability to organize these records into Projects.

In the main records screen, we allow bulk delete - ie: you can check off multiple items then delete them in bulk. This is because, as mentioned, thousands of records.

However, in the Projects screen, we don't anticipate users having a lot of Projects. There will only be 3 or 4, so bulk editing isn't really necessary here, so I was thinking of only allowing users to delete one Project at a time.

This is what the records screen with bulk editing looks like. Note that the "Delete" button will only appear after at least one item has been checked off.

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The Projects screen almost looks exactly the same, but without the checkboxes/ability to bulk delete.

enter image description here

I guess we can mirror the UI for consistency, but I just don't think bulk editing is necessary for something that won't even contain a ton of items.

Is it ok to have a mix of bulk and single editing in the UI?


It's perfectly reasonable to mix these patterns, based on what they're dealing with.

Imagine an e-commerce website that supports creating multiple wish lists. I would expect that they would let me remove several items from a wish list at one time, but I wouldn't necessarily be surprised if they made me delete only one wish list at a time. This feels natural because a list is a grouping object, so deleting a list is a larger, more destructive action. Deleting a number of wish lists at once would be giving me more destructive power than I'll typically need. To not allow me that option is to protect me from accidentally deleting everything, and accepting that I'll be slightly inconvenienced if I'm ever actually in need of that functionality.

However, I might style the rows a bit differently to visually reinforce the slightly different behaviors available. For example, records, which support the bulk-delete, might be a bit narrower which would also naturally better display the large numbers of them. Conversely, I'd show the projects with more padding, and perhaps a larger font to illustrate that these are "larger" objects than records.

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