I'm sorry I could not name this question any better -- if anybody knows of a better term to refer to this by, please let me know. I'd be happy to edit my question.

At any rate, I have a design problem i'm trying to solve for and need some help in terms of resources, sites i could use for inspiration, etc.

I have 10 items in a list. These 10 items must be assigned to two buckets. I need to make sure that the 2 buckets can be toggled at any time. However, I need to make it explicit to the user that I'm assigning items to the individual buckets. These items can be assigned to either bucket or both. Is there any good design pattern or anything someone could share that best shows how to solve for this problem?

  • 2
    I'm not sure this belongs in GD.SE, but I'm also not entirely sure on what you're asking, either!
    – JohnB
    Mar 20, 2013 at 19:55
  • 3
    A sketch would be really helpful!
    – Brendan
    Mar 20, 2013 at 20:36
  • Final deliverable format? This does sound far more like a UX question than a design question.
    – Scott
    Mar 20, 2013 at 23:41
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    I guess it's hard to show an image of what you mean since you don't know what it should look like yet... How about you show examples of things you've tried and talk through why they don't satisfy? For example, one very simple suggestion would be a table with 10 rows and 2 columns of tick boxes, and unassigned rows (no ticks) highlighted as "to do" Mar 20, 2013 at 23:51
  • I voted to close because it doesn't really matter what the question is - its incredibly localized and unlikely to be of any further use to anyone. Also, and this could just be my own paranoia, but I would not be surprised if this was a school homework/project challenge.
    – Ryan
    Mar 21, 2013 at 13:44

1 Answer 1


This clearly fits better in UX.SE. But I'll give my two cents in either case.

There are some flaws with the question, one of which being what the carrier of this system you're designing is. Whether it's mobile, desktop or both.

I also read it like you want the list to be consistent, and not be separated between the buckets. Therefore I would suggest to simply use a selection control in that list which clearly tells the user what bucket(s) an item belongs to.

In this mockup I've used a segmented selection control, which is usually used for featured filtering in lists. It really works the same way as a checkbox selection group, but with a much more vibrant visual feedback of state to easier read out how a list's items are distributed state-wise.

enter image description here

This is just a quick mockup to show a design suggestion of how to solve your problem and to give you an idea of what you could do.

  • +1, this is also a nice demonstration of how something that functions as something simple and generic like a table with 10 rows and 2 columns of tick boxes doesn't necessarily have to look like a generic example of the pattern to be intuitive and usable with form following function. (I'd suggest however that the colours could be confusing if Bucket A=blue and Bucket B=green hadn't already been introduced - it could be taken as a sign that there are 3 states for each button: 'clear','blue' and 'green' when actually there are two:'off' and 'on'. Coloured text might be less ambiguous) Mar 21, 2013 at 13:45
  • It is unclear to me if "no bucket" is not an option based upon the original description: if there is no default bucket(s) in the specification then clear MUST be an option. It is also unclear if there are meant to be exactly two buckets. I infer that there must be two selected, but there might be 100 buckets to choose from.
    – horatio
    Mar 21, 2013 at 13:56
  • @user568458 Thanks! And I agree with your thoughts. This was merely a mockup, further interactive / graphics adjustments and a selection of colour schemes is required. Mar 21, 2013 at 14:20
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    @horatio Yes I agree. I went by the information that was provided in the OP, and I read it as an item had to belong to either one of the buckets or both, no association was not possible. Same with the number of buckets, if you introduce more than say four buckets then this control would not be suitable, however the OP suggests only two buckets. Mar 21, 2013 at 14:23
  • Bucket, bucket, bucket, bucket, bucket, bucket, bucket, bucket, bucket, bucket, bucket, bucket, bucket, bucket, bucket, bucket, bucket, bucket, bucket and bucket or 2 labels?
    – allcaps
    Aug 6, 2014 at 21:23

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