I am a new to designing for Android apps. I have been looking over material design components and trying to follow a few patterns. This is pertaining to a section of the mobile application which includes a data table for an Android App.

Journey 1:Data Table

Following the material design pattern of the data table https://material.io/components/data-tables#anatomy, I wanted to include the functionality where a user can select all files. The icons give a visual presence of they file type (folder, document, img, etc..). Business rules require to show the date that the file or folder was uploaded to the system or last modified.

Journey 2: Folder Selected n Data table This shows a selection of the folder selection by the user, once a folder or file is selected - a link appears for the user to 'View' or 'Download' the file and also gives the user a visual cue of how many selections he/she has made.

Journey 3: Modal Display The modal displays when the user clicks the 'View/Download' link. From the modal the user can either click View - to view the file or Download to download the file.

Journey 4: Modal Display for 2 Selections The modal displays when the user clicks the 'View/Download' link when 2 or more file(s) have been selected. From the modal the user can either view or download the file. The first file will be selected by default.

Issue: The user cannot see what 5 files are nested within the folder if they click View in the modal option. Also, if you add another selection within the modal it forces the user to reselect the same files/folders again to complete the action. Is there an easier way for the user journey to be more intuitive but also allow them to select the files/folders, then view or download them?

  • I don't really get the problem. What is the point of having a 'view'-action on multiple files? Why would you need to drilldown through a folder structure in a modal? What are special needs that users have in your application that are different from a file browser (Explorer, Finder)? I would use these interaction concepts as people are familiar with them.
    – Nash
    Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 7:42
  • The user needs to have the ability to view the file, some of the files can be within a folder structure. The user also needs to be able to download the file if they want to. The problem is how to make this flow on a mobile device (primarily android). The two actions for the users are to be able to view and download certain files, but also select more than one file at once, does that make sense?
    – Rex
    Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 14:18
  • Example: I need to download 'ALL' of these files on bulk, so I select all. Would it make more sense to only allow the user to View/Download if an individual file is selected but if multiple items are selected only allow the user to download?
    – Rex
    Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 14:22

1 Answer 1


Download is group action but View is inividual action. How do you display three selected files at a time for viewing?

So Download could be placed at the of the table and View could be placed near each file. Or View could be default action for click on filename.

Also, you are considering simplified case when your subfolder doesn't contain subfolders. Otherwise you need to implement internal scanning and offer user not obvious choice for in your modal.

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