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Trying to justify my approach here.

When multiple items are selected (for bulk actions to be taken) what should happen when the user applies a filter?

Should any selected items be cleared as soon as a filter is applied? Should the selected items remain selected? There will be cases where the filter will result in none of the selected items being available (all filtered out) and cases where some selected items will still be available, and cases where some of the selected items are still available, but many many pages deep (and out of view) due to the items that have been added when the filter was applied.

My current thinking is that the complexity of keeping the items selected too hard to effectively communicate, so when a filter is applied, any selected items will be reset. The user has to then make new selections based on the new set of items displayed.

Thoughts? Visuals below.

Selections made

Selections made

Option 1 - Stay selected

filter applied

Option 2 - Reset

enter image description here

  • Could you please give more context about what are these searched items about and what user is going to do with these items? Asking this to know more about how important it is for user to check if his next filter is going to exclude some of the already selected items. – Omkar Chogale Aug 22 at 5:53
  • Thanks for the question. This is an incoming feed of results that the user is 'processing'. They narrow the results using the filters, then tag them with different categories. The page logic can work like a worksheet, you can set filters to 'exclude' items that have tags so all you see on this page are results that need your attention. It is possible that adding filters can affect the selected items... either by removing them altogether, or by adding more results to the page so the selected ones are no longer in view. – Corey Aug 23 at 0:16
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I should keep the filters selected so the user can easily tweak their filter options. Also maybe add a reset filter option that the user has the option to start from zero selected filters.

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It seems like selecting rows is a relatively easy task here, and that automatically deselecting them has a pretty low risk in regards to frustrating the user. So, I think you’re right to deselect rows when a new filter is applied. It’s simple for the user and easier for you to maintain moving forward.

If you retain their selection, you’ll need to show the user that some selections are hidden and probably give them an option to “clear” the filter. Or, if you automatically deselect suppressed rows then you’d need to warn users that all of their original selections will not be affected before letting them take an action. This is a pretty terrible solution.

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I would personally reselect the necessary items. Say, A, B and C are selected. Then the filter is applied which means now only A and B are visible. If so, I will say, display A and B as selected. If the filter is reset after that, keep only A and B as selected. C lost selection once the filter was applied, so after resetting filter, C must be selected again.

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Would like to propose below option only if 1. You have some space (possibly towards right side of screen) and 2. Its useful for users to review their existing selected items with different filters and choose items from various filtered results.

Solution: As soon as user checks an item, move its small view (icon or fewer details than whats there in search results) to this RHS section. We can name it a "bucket".

Unchecking will remove item from bucket

Now, when user will change filter, middle section will always have latest results based on filter criteria and if it contains previously selected items, they will be selected. In addition, whichever items in bucket are excluded from current search will be marked differently, giving user a scent that these are not covered with current filter.

On "bucket", user can take action to remove all excluded items or any item independent of its state. And action will be taken on all items currently in bucket.

This way, filters and search will present a way for users to "collect" and "evaluate" items based on various criterias. However, final decision is with user if he wants to take action on multiple items selected from more than one filters.

If we remove selection with new search then user can take action only on items which are searched from latest filter only.

Disclaimer: Above solution is applicable for very specific context and might not be used in general task flow.

  • That is an interesting approach, I understand what you are suggesting with the bucket analogy. It's a significantly different pattern to anything else within the page/app, but I can see the strengths. Going to consider it some more. Thanks. – Corey Aug 25 at 3:38
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Check google sheets you can understand the useability over there.

Create a row with mutiple items (Same as per you image) and check you will understand the human approach

  • Can you expand on this please? I don't understand your answer. – Corey Aug 23 at 16:52
  • Don't clear the filter as the user may not understand what happened. let him do the things manually after applying the filters (like uncheck the unwanted things). – Anas Idris Aug 24 at 6:32
  • The issue with this approach is that due to the nature of the filters, the originally selected items may be out of view once more content is filtered into the page. The user may need to scroll/navigate through multiple pages of results to find the originally selected items in order to uncheck them. Or I would need to provide some additional messaging explaining the originally selected items are selected, but not in view. Seems like a hard mental modal to build. – Corey Aug 25 at 3:36

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