I have an application where i want to assign users to a specified task. There are a lot of application that do that with two lists where available and assigned users are located.

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Is this best practise or are there any other good approaches?


I have an addition to my question. What to do when I also have groups? I could imagine two different approaches: In the first approach I strictly differentiate between users and groups enter image description here In the second I use a tree structure instead of a simple list: enter image description here

  • That is a common interface, which makes it a not bad option. Plus is intuitive, specially if you also use some clear labeling.
    – PatomaS
    Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 13:02

2 Answers 2


Your current suggestion works, but it is a bit vintage if you don't mind me say so. Another way is to use auto-suggest and comma separated fields to assign users.

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It takes less space of the UI and uses search technologies instead of selecting from one to the other column.

  • This scales well for medium to large lists of names, but search slows down the users if they have only a small pool to pick from. Also, many people in my organization have the first name of John, and there are many Jonathans, Jons, and even some Jonases. You have to practically type my entire name before the search box can narrow it down to me. I like how Outlook Address Book Search lets me type in the name field and it moves the selection picker. But that's still big. If his "available users" list fits on a single screen, I'd say stick with his original suggestion. Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 13:16

The path I took for a similar problem was close to what Google does for gmail, drive, etc.

List the first X number of users in a table (w/ pagination) and put a search field at the top that filters the table. Check boxes or clicking/tapping the users selects them and another button adds them to a group.

This may be a bit heavier than what you're looking for, but I've found it's very scalable and works well for all types of "add X to Y" problems. It also allows for the inclusion of other columns to be sorted by.

I use a much more minimalistic version of this elsewhere that's just the search field followed by a scrolling list of names/groups. The vertical space available constrains how many names are shown at once and the search filters it.

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