Accessible Multi-Selection

Project Background

All operating systems and applications support selection with point/click or aim/touch. Most also support multi-selection to choose lists, icons, and objects. If the items aren't contiguous (i.e., there are item(s) between A and B), then using command-click to make that multi-selection is one of the more common ways to multi-select on a desktop OS.

If there was no keyboard on a laptop computer, how can this interaction be supported?

Problem Statement

How might we produce the best interaction model for the selection multiple items, but using only a mouse (point/click)?

My Roles / Process

  • Current State Modelling
  • Competitive Research
  • User Research
  • Design Concept

Design Process

Current State: Interactions

I separated the current type of multi-selection into 3 categories to sort them in my research.

Current State: View Types

I also grouped the interactions by view types.

Current State: Research

I conducted research to determine interactions, products and systems utilizing these interactions, and pros/cons of each.

Mock User Research & Personas

Given my limited time to complete the project, I explored the preferences of participants in a rapid user discovery research session.


Based off my (mock) user research, the best solution appears to be based on context and preference.

Design Concept

Using all of the insights and research, I produced a design concept: Use of gestural selection in design tools (in this case, Illustrator).

Next Steps

If more time were allotted, I would have given the participants interactive prototypes to have them complete specific scenarios. Then, I would probe them for subjective opinions and perform a heuristic evaluation to provide another iteration on the design.