I have a form in which a user can select multiple tags via a pop-up window (multi-select with check boxes). The tags are maintained in admin/settings section. It is not a good experience if the user has to leave the form just to add a new tag. How can this be addressed? So far I have these options:

1) a button "add tag" in the pop-up. When the user clicks on the button the pop up window will show an area to enter a new tag text together with cancel & save.

2) In the form add a button "new tag" next to the "select tags" option. It would add a new tag but I think it is confusing to have select and new tag next to each other.

3) Use a new window for selecting tags instead of pop-up window. Then a new tag could be added via pop-up in this window.

Right now I would go with 1) but I don't really like any of these options. I have searched UX Stack Exchange but I have only found one similar question with one design option. Does anyone have different solutions?


I came across this option. Adding something like this at the bottom of the list: enter image description here

When some enters a new tag text and hits the plus sign then the new tag is added to the list with a check box (similar to gmail label structure) and this plus/new tag entry stays there for any additional entries.


3 Answers 3


Gmail handles this in a very straight forward way.

When you select a message and ask to tag it, you are presented with a list of all existing tags:

enter image description here

If you select the "Create new" option you get a popup:

enter image description here

But if you just start typing in a label into the search that does not exist, you get the option to create it without the popup:

enter image description here

This last method is my personal preferred method of creating a new tag in Gmail.

  • This relates to the second option I mentioned in my question. The difference is that 'my labels' are in a pop up so that it cannot really open another pop up. Thanks for the recommendation. Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 19:19
  • @user3460486 - Having a second popup would indeed be a bad idea. You could simply not use the popup option in this example, instead just using the "create new" option when typing a tag that does not already exist. Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 19:43

The answer was staring right back at you when you were typing the question and tagging it :). Did you check out the stack exchange tag question screen?

enter image description here

It's slick because it lets you select multiple tags by typing and clicking. It also lets you add a tag without leaving the screen.

  • I should have provided a mock up. The pop-up looks more like gmail labels. So there is no text box to enter text. Thanks anyway. Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 18:52

As thousandtyone and ECM mentioned, many tag controls, like the one on this site, simply allow the adding of a new tag unless you've picked one from the suggestions.

I'm particularly fond of way Jira handles it (slightly more usable than the SE way because it says '(New label)':

The labels drop down on Jira - below the suggestion there's a line with the query string and new label in brackets

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