I want to know if there is any design pattern for file sharing between devices or users. How can I chop down some steps without compromising the user experience for the file sharing.

Actually, the initial idea was to design a file sharing UX where user needs to take minimum number of steps to share a file with another user or device.

Select-file-->right click--> select sharing option --> choose method -->A: Add users name, groups (add emails) B: share the link (youtube link, image, website)

I have created task flow for file sharing but I don't know if I am missing something or not. Here, I need your help to know how would you share a file in these two scenario mentioned below.

Lets take the example of google drive or dropbox (you can choose any of them)

  1. When you have installed the client of one of these two service on your PC/Laptop: How do you share your file with other user or device from your PC/Laptop client
  2. When you are using cloud service (g-drive/dropbox): How do you share your files directly from the cloud to other users or devices.

P.S. If you haven't understand my question please feel free to ask in the comments. I would try to elaborate more.

  • 1
    But file sharing is already provided by operating systems and networks. And you will need to follow that security. As for sharing a youtube link you just send the URL.
    – paparazzo
    Dec 23, 2014 at 12:51
  • 1
    I think what-who-how and who-what-how are both much more natural than the what-how-who flow you depicted, which would be the programmer approach.
    – Crissov
    Dec 23, 2014 at 15:11
  • 1
    Google Docs and DropBox seem to have come up with some good solutions for this already.
    – DA01
    Dec 23, 2014 at 18:00

1 Answer 1


To answer the specific questions:

  1. Install the corresponding desktop clients (DropBox, Google Drive) and save the file into the local instances of the folder. Then follow either step below.
  2. Send the file link to another user.
  3. Share the folders and give the specific user accounts access.

Furthermore, the headline question is way too broad. The quick answer is there's no standard for file sharing. Why? Consider how many types of file sharing methods there are:

  • Emailing an attachment
  • Emailing/messaging/SMS a link to a file download
  • AirDrop or other Bluetooth method file transfer
  • Moving a file on a webapp to a shared folder with other users (e.g. Google Drive)
  • FTP to/from a server
  • Sending a file from your computer over a network drive

Each of those examples require a specific interface to function. You wouldn't use an FTP form to send a Google Drive file to a shared folder.

For any case, pick one and make sure it is easy to use. Use software out today as a reference if you get stuck, or ask a more focused version of your question here.

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