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In our app we have a page that allows users to select an account type and there are 100 different ones. It's basically a word + number, something along the lines of the number of users you want to give access to your "account". As the number of users increases so does the price.

So there is a "plan 10" which gives 10 users access and costs you 10USD. You can have 120 users in "plan 120" for 120USD. The 100 different plans is basically from 10 - 1000 users in increments of 10 (10, 20, 30 … 980, 990, 1000). We don't need to display the word, only the number.

We wanted to use a jquery slider but 100 increments on a horizontal slider in a 960px wide layout is not really feasible (or is it?).

What other ways are there to let users select one of a 100 different values? The only thing I can think of is a simple (styled) drop down but that's not very sexy. Anyone?

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let them type in 'number of users' between 1 and 1000 then round up to what makes sense for you (next highest multiple of 10)... –  Roger Attrill Nov 2 '11 at 13:52
    
@RogerAttrill I thought this too but I really hate to alter user input like that. Technically if they want 99 users there is a plan specifically for that, it just has an added allowance for one more user. 99 should be valid input, but the user should know exactly what they're getting charged and how many "real" users they get when they enter 99. –  Ben Brocka Nov 2 '11 at 14:04
    
@RogerAttril the idea is cool but user input being altered is a bit so-so like Ben Brocka says. –  stef Nov 2 '11 at 14:23
    
A license costs $10 and covers 10 users. How many licenses do you want (up to 100)? –  Patrick McElhaney Nov 2 '11 at 18:06
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This is somewhat of a business issue, but if affects the way customers think about the app too: Is there really a need on either end to (a) differentiate between 980 users and 990 users, or (b) to not sell per-user plans? (Depending on the context there could be, I'm just asking.) It seems to me that something like 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 750, 1000 would be sufficient, or else you could buy individual licenses for $1 each. That would certainly simplify the user's decision. –  Travis Christian Nov 2 '11 at 19:31
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6 Answers 6

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Why isn't it feasible? Is this something that would work?

enter image description here

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If we have about 800px horizontal space for the slider then the slider button would be about 8px wide, which is pretty small. We'll try to fit it in since a slider does seem the best option; Thanks! –  stef Nov 2 '11 at 14:22
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then make a bigger slider button! –  colmcq Nov 2 '11 at 14:25
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much though I like the points and all, maybe you should award the bonus to the consensus answer, Ben's ? That's what I usually do or leave open if no clear consensus –  colmcq Nov 2 '11 at 19:37
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First things first; you're not really asking them to pick one plan out of 100 distinct options, you're asking them how many users they want. Make the form input reflect that. Technically on your end they are picking one from 100 distinct plans, but that's an implementation issue, don't make your users worry about it.

Sounds like what you really want is an input field (or a combo box if you really want a dropdown) that allows users to type the specific count of users they want. Don't make your users think in multiples of ten, if they input 10 users you know that means plan 1. If they input plan 1 however, they can't be expected to know that means 10 users.

You can use some nice Javascript style validation that helps guide the user; e.g. if they type 900000, tell them the range is from 10-1000. In addition on the right of the field you can show how much this plan will cost, and how many (actual) users they get. If I type 1 user, tell me the cost for the nearest plan that covers me ($10), and give me the real count of users for this license (10).

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+1 for the comment on what is actually being asked for. I think this is critical to the solution. –  Schroedingers Cat Nov 2 '11 at 16:26
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What I hear you saying is that the user will save money if she chooses the 100-users plan instead of the 99-users plan.

How about letting the user enter the number of users, and then presenting the relevant plan options?

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Free text field with dynamically updated actual value.

Number of licences required: [__42__]

Package selected for you: x50 package, $50/month

< submit >


If they type number higher than max - message can read (in red): x1000 (maximum reached), $1,000/month

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100 options seem way too many.

Is the only difference the number of users or are there any other characteristics that change?

If it's the former then a drop down of the number of users might work, either that or a slider which increments in 10's might work.

If you have different options as well then by leading the user through a series of questions (similar to what colour?, what size? etc.) this will make the choice easier and less overwhelming.

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The only difference is the number of users, yes. A slider in increments of 10 is what we were thinking of. Thanks! –  stef Nov 2 '11 at 14:21
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The above suggestion seems like it would work. To add to this idea: If there are any plans that are a lot more popular than the others, maybe it would be worth adding short cuts for these options?

Or maybe you could get the user to enter how many users and the system is then intelligent enough to pick the correct plan for them?

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