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Working on a bulk actions flow at the moment and would like some thoughts on my approach.

Wireframes here https://invis.io/7YTBHEJPXEA

I have two core options...

  1. A button toggles the bulk checkboxes on/off
  2. A button activates a bulk "mode"

Within each of those core options, I have a few different ways to manage the states after the actions have been taken.

  • I like the feeling of being "in" a mode (option 2), but am struggling to articulate why I prefer this. The ESC key would exit you out of the mode.
  • I also like the control that including a "deselect" link gives, but worry it's over-engineered.
  • Keeping items selected vs deselecting after actions. I can see pros and cons for both options.

I am also open to feedback on the "Actions" dropdown. I initially had a different version where you couldn't manipulate the checkbox states. If any of the tags had an indeterminate state when you access the dropdown, you can only mark, then unmark.

I appreciate there's a lot to chew on here but would love to hear some thoughts on this.

  • Hi @Darrell, thanks for your contribution to UXSE :) It is good that you have provided a link to the invision wireframe, but it might be a little bit difficult to click through the pages to find the relevant details, so a screenshot is still preferred. Thanks. – Michael Lai Aug 6 at 2:53
  • Thanks for the tip! – Corey Aug 16 at 12:58
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Bulk Action

Lets look at the option that you like and review the pros and cons.

A button activates a bulk "mode"

Pro:

  1. Being in a select mode keeps the user in a focus mode.
  2. You don't have to overload with user with actions that he does not need to use before selecting items.

Cons:

  1. Visibility: Users don't naturally know that there is mode that would allow them to select item. Visibility of information translates directly to better decision making.
  2. Iconography: You are asking the user to guess the icon you think fits.

Visibility is the basic principle that the more visible an element is, the more likely users will know about them and how to use them. Equally important is the opposite: when something is out of sight, it's difficult to know about and use.

The above statement seems true in this case. There is enough real estate on the screen to accommodate all the UI that will help/encourage the user to make their decisions.

I like the feeling of being "in" a mode (option 2), but am struggling to articulate why I prefer this. The ESC key would exit you out of the mode.

I think hiding this action from the user to begin with make it harder to argue for the design. What could be a valid reason to now show check boxes when you have real estate.

I also like the control that including a "deselect" link gives, but worry it's over-engineered.

I don't think it's over-engineered. I think it is necessary in order to give the user the option to correct the mistake. However, reconsider the word Deselect.

Keeping items selected vs deselecting after actions. I can see pros and cons for both options.

Why would you keep items selected? The user has already performed the action. Take them back after providing feedback if the action went through or not.

Based on your designs, here is a solution.

Visibility of system: Show Check box and actions

enter image description here

System Feedback: System is able to tell user what happened and how they can go back

enter image description here

Return to zero state: Provide feedback on action and return to zero state

enter image description here

Few things to improve:

  1. Provide a header to differentiate list values
  2. You don't need a single action item. make the title clickable
  3. Provide a dropdown to add tags to individual rows. Show dropdown on hover(maybe)

enter image description here


Actions I think what I see in your action drop down is enough. It's dificult to understand what you mean by "intermediate" state.

As long as you provide a way to add, remove and show the added state before applying changes. you're good.

  • Thank you for the thoughtful reply. Much appreciated. The decision was made to treat bulk actions as a power-user feature. For that reason, the function is hidden by default. The idea is that the icon is discoverable enough for those who have been made aware of it or are been hungry enough for enhanced features that they explore the interface. – Corey Aug 16 at 12:53
  • What are your thoughts on replacing the item count "About 90.3k copies" with the "items selected" copy when items are selected? It feels right to me, but at the same time I am finding it hard to justify why the item count isn't still valuable in the bulk mode. – Corey Aug 16 at 12:56
  • The item count is an informational label when the user is making a decision. After the user has decided that, he will be selecting some of the items.. The 90.3 copies does not really provide feedback based on their actions. one way you could resolve this is by: 3 of 90.3 copies selected . – Nodnin Sep 6 at 16:08
  • Also, If you think that my answer contributed in you making a decision. I would request you to consider marking it as the right answer. – Nodnin Sep 6 at 16:10

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