I have a list of items in a tree in a column on the left of the page. Each item can be added to one or more views by dragging the item onto a view on the right of the page.

This is proving to be time-consuming and non-intuitive for the user. If there were only one view on the right, we could add or remove items using check-boxes. However, there are potentially many views.

Is there a better solution to this problem?

  • How often would the users drag the same item to multiple views vs. one item to one view? Also would users often add multiple items from the tree to the views in one settings? It'll be helpful if you can provide more info on what users are trying to accomplish with the interface. (e.g. add product items from a tree to categories buckets)
    – Poyi
    Commented Sep 28, 2014 at 5:09
  • You can have the user select the view first then use one click item adding/removing. I don't like check-boxes though. I prefer some kind of highlighting.
    – MVTC
    Commented Sep 28, 2014 at 7:54
  • The tree would contain items that represent sets of data. Examples of the views to drag to would be graphs, text charts, dials, gauges, etc. So I think they would likely drag 1 data set to 1 view, but it is possible they would want to see a single data set in multiple views. Commented Sep 29, 2014 at 1:02
  • MVTC- can you add that as an answer? Commented Sep 29, 2014 at 1:03
  • Where is the time lost? In dragging or in finding the item to be dragged?
    – Daniel F
    Commented Jun 9, 2015 at 4:49

1 Answer 1


I have seen this done quite well using the UI below:enter image description here By selecting a node in the tree then clicking the arrow it directs the selected node to the selected view.

Forgive the quick mockup!

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