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In my web app, I have a file/folder tree structure.

I want to give a user ability to move a file out of a folder into the 'root' of the file/folder tree. So the file won't be inside of a folder.

How would one name this action? Some examples could be:

"Move to root"

"Move to top"

"Remove from folder"

update: I checked how Dropbox and GoogleDrive handle this. Both of the services have a name for their root folder. Example: "My Drive" or "Dropbox". So, I guess this is yet another option. Name the root folder something meaningful and then have your users learn that this is their 'root' folder.

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Out of your options:

1st and 2nd option qualify to be an action. The third one suggests a destructive action which doesn't really suggest "moving".

Now, depending on your users, if they know technical terms such as Root, you could go with Option 1: Move to Root.

Another option can be: Move to Main Directory. This can be customizable according to the update in your question for the user to be more accustomed to the name of the main directory. For example - Developer's Directory.

If you still want to take safe measures, have a dialog box after moving the file with the following message:

File successfully moved to C:\ExampleDirectory

OK UNDO OPEN FOLDER

The above message will give enough clarity on what was done even allowing to open the folder or undo the operation.

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Taking your options:

  • "Move to root" If this is the only place where the file can be moved, then this would be correct, specially on a tree representation

  • "Move to top" This is really unclear and has a lot of friction. Top of what? A positional attribute might be very confusing for something that can be represented in different views

  • "Remove from folder" Remove from folder, OK. And then... what?. This is the less recommendable of all

In short

There might be other options, but as long as root is the only place to move, then your first option is correct. Otherwise, if file can be moved to anotehr folder, simply use "Move"

  • Yes, all the points that you made make sense. 'Move to root' would be the easiest option, however, our users are not technical and don't know the meaning of 'root'. What do you think of an option to rename 'root'? See my update. – dev.e.loper Jun 16 '16 at 18:51
  • I see your edit now, and barring further testing, it might be a good idea. But don't go without testing. Let's say for example sake that your service is named MyVirtualDisk (or Dropbox). If you're inside a folder, you'd still be at MyVirtualDisk, so this might be a bit confusing. Nevertheless, testing will clarify this. You could also use something like "Base" or "Base Level" instead of root and even play with teh idea of folders as apartments, that will have a joyful and playful side which will increase the affordance of your system – Devin Jun 16 '16 at 19:22

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