What is the expected behavior of a file uploader, after the file is uploaded?

Here is a use case where the expectation of the users depend on the current status.

  1. The user sees a large list of files in a table. The table is using lazy loading that appends new data once the end of the scroll-bar is reached. The scrolling in my eyes is a complex tasks that will take the user quite some time. Once the desired file is found, the user can click it to see further options.

    Now the user decides to upload a new file. Probably the expectation is not that this new files will be visible immediately, because of the current scolling-position. Also a "refresh" of the current view could lead to the "lose" of the selected file.

    enter image description here

  2. The user is seeing a empty or poorly filled list and decides to upload new files. The expectation now will be, that the new files have to be visible right after the upload.

    enter image description here

What would be the best way to tackle this problem? Implement one standard behavior that might be counterproductive for certain use cases (see 1.) or should there be some kind of intelligence in the uploader, that makes sure that the current state is protected no matter what. Even if this could lead to make the user manually refresh a view (see 2.).

1 Answer 1


Use a general upload feedback popup at some peripheral position which notifies the user about the success/error of the upload and if it was successful, give an option for the user to jump there in the view. This way, they get they feedback which does not interfere instantly with the lazy loading list, but they still have the option to locate the freshly uploaded file.

Image upload feedback

  • Thank you for your feedback! You are absolutely correct. Maybe my question is short of information. I already implemented a "jump to file" link in the result. But it's rather confusing for the user, that this is possible while the underlying folder seems to be still empty (until it's refreshed). Also it's possible that the new files have been appended to a different folder than the current one.
    – Nico O
    Commented Oct 14, 2015 at 11:58
  • 1
    1. If the folder is empty and you upload the file there: the file should also appear in the list immediately without refreshing. 2. If you upload the file into a folder which is not in the view: you just have to notify the user about the plus information, like: "Sunset.jpg has been uploaded to the 'Nature photos' folder." And the name of the folder is clickable. It was not clear that you can navigate to other fodlers during the upload since your upload progress popup covers the view and indicates that the user does not have room for navigation until the upload is finished.
    – skywlkr
    Commented Oct 14, 2015 at 14:06
  • 1
    Thank you so much for your feedback. Maybe I forced the scrolling too much in the center of attention. My question meant to say: Should a view always be updated, even if a redraw maybe destroys the "work" (scrolling , editing ...) of the user. I came to the conclusion that the file is expected to become visible after the upload if it makes sense. By this I mean: If I'am in an empty folder or in a folder where I can see all files and new files are uploaded, the new files should become visible. If I'am knee deep in a tree, new files, are expected to be visible, when current filters match.
    – Nico O
    Commented Oct 15, 2015 at 8:30

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