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Designing Web Interfaces by Theresa Neil, Bill Scott

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Collected Selection

Toggle Selection is great for showing a list of items on a single page. But what happens if you want to collect selected items across multiple pages? Collected Selection is a pattern for keeping track of selection as it spans multiple pages.

In Gmail, you can select items as you move from page to page. The selections are remembered for each page. If you select two items on page one, then move to page two and select three items, there are only three items selected. This is because actions only operate on a single page. This makes sense, as users do not normally expect selected items to be remembered across different pages.

Considerations

Gmail does provide a way to select all items across different pages. When selecting all items on a individual page (with the "All" link), a prompt appears inviting the user to "Select all 2785 conversations in Spam". Clicking that will select all items across all pages (Figure 3-8). The "Delete Forever" action will operate on all 2785 conversations, not just the 25 selected on the page.

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Gmail provides a way to select all items across all pages, allowing the user to delete all items in a folder without having to delete all items on each page individually

Figure 3-8. Gmail provides a way to select all items across all pages, allowing the user to delete all items in a folder without having to delete all items ...

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