Uber Design Challenge 1: Multi Selection

Design challenge for Uber Design Internship

Extracted Prompt: Problem

Revising OS X to support multi touch without the use of a keyboard but with continued support for a mouse. Start by focusing on design tools like Sketch or Illustrator

Use Cases


How does multi selection work currently on OS X?

Multi selection works either by clicking on an empty spot and dragging a rectangular selection over the different objects on the canvas or by using shift/command click to select multiple non contiguous elements.

On the trackpad, doing a single click and dragging or a double click and dragging performs the same functions.

How does multi selection work currently on Touch based devices?

Solutions Exploration

I started thinking about possible solutions that can solve the design challenge. While doing this I focussed on a few things.

  1. Whether it works with all the use cases
  2. What advantages it has
  3. What disadvantages it might have
Exploration of possible solutions for the multi selection design challenge

Here are the four solutions that I came up with:

1. Long click on one object to enable multi selection

Similar to how it works in touch devices, long clicking one object highlights the other elements allowing you to select others using the rectangular selection or by clicking on them. When you click on an outside area, it completes the selection. Clicking outside again deselects everything.



2. Change selector to a lasso

Instead of having a rectangular selector, make the selector on dragging a lasso that you need to complete after moving across the objects you want to select.



3. Two-Finger Click (right+left click)

If a click is performed by two fingers, it allows selection of multiple elements instead of one and works with the rectangular selector as well.



4. Have a multi selection toggle button

Have an in app or on screen toggle button that enables or disables multi selection.



5. Pause between selection

Have a one second pause before ending the rectangular selection so that if you resume dragging from another empty point, you add to the selection.



Which solution is better?

The solutions can be categorized as ones that extend existing functionality and ones that change the functionality of existing selection techniques.

The best would probably be ones that extend existing functionality so that they are still intuitive and have less disadvantages.

Thus, the first solution which enables multi selection after a long click would be the best since it extends from the functionality in touch devices and does not conflict with any other functions.

The next best solution would be the two finger click because it still maintains a lot of the functions and is still intuitive because its similar to shift+click.

I am a Creative Technologist studying Computer Science at UCLA and trying to do good in the world by Design.

I am a Creative Technologist studying Computer Science at UCLA and trying to do good in the world by Design.