I have a form where there is also the possibility to manage N files PDF. These files could be uploaded and, obviously, deleted.

For upload, I have a ajax uploading (when you choose a file, the file is automatically uploaded. During the process you could do other things or uploads other files).


download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

On the icon hover, there is the "X" button in order to delete the file.

In order to prevent accidentally deletions, I thought to do a "undo" flow.


download bmml source

The file will be deleted on form submit.

At this point I have some doubt:

  1. It's a good choice to do an automatic upload (no need to submit form) but for deletion no? (you need to submit the form)
  2. if yes, What's the best terminology for indicate the user that he have to submit the form in order to complete deletion? I have no too much space. I thought "file will be deleted on submit". But "submit" is not a clear word, and more explicative phrases are too large.
  • Question: from user POV if they won't submit the form then they won't confirm upload, right? Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 12:47
  • Who knows what the users wants? :) I think it's rare, in this context, that the user want to leave the page without save. But if it happens, it's unpredictable to know if he wants leave the files or delete them. Uploading a file is a "complex" operation (click the button, navigate to folders, choose the file), maybe it's reasonable to think that if he completes all the steps for doing it, then he really wants to confirm the upload. Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 13:56
  • Hmmmm I'm not sure, unless you want to keep a pending upload. Think if, for example, in Facebook you cancel images upload. Users (well...I) expect everything is canceled if they don't confirm an operation. In this case it doesn't matter when you effectively delete already uploaded files. Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 14:21
  • a pending upload could be a choice (as I said ux.stackexchange.com/questions/84788/…) Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 20:01

3 Answers 3


Automatic uploading and deletion are consistent, no explicit submitting in both the actions.

A possible solution for final delete could be as pictured:

  1. Focus user's attention on the deleted item (transition/color)
  2. Display the Undo control for some time (5 s)
  3. Delete the item and fade out the Undo control if no actions were took

enter image description here

  • At this point I'm wondering if it's more simple to do the reverse thing: force the submit form in order to "finalize" the file uploaded. (maybe placing the file in a tmp folder and move it on submit). Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 13:12

If upload is possible without Submit, then deletion should be too. You can mark the files for deletion on the server, e.g. by setting up a deletion callback that will run after 1 minute unless it will be undone... Or move the file to to-be-deleted folder on deletion and move it back on undo + make sure to garbage collect files older than 1 day or whatever is right for your use case.


Instead of undoing the deletion, you may "flip" the file icon with a "click to confirm deletion" icon (or message).

  • Welcome to UX.stackexchange. If you can please elaborate on your answer.
    – Mayo
    Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 10:58

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