My first post, so please be gentle and I'll do the same :-)
While there are some good ideas here, I don't think any of them quite meet the requirements of the original poster:
"Our client wants us to come up with a way for him to add 70-80
advertisers from this list of 150" -
I certainly agree with many of the nifty ideas in which users would be able to filter results and add them to the Selected Advertisers list, we still need a way to bulk add approximately 70 advertisers to the selection. While the filtering ideas are quite good, it would merely lead to an application much like any e-mail application where the user is specifying the recipients in the "to" field. Imagine having to add 70 recipients by hand!
Ideally, we would not want the following workflow:
- Type of phrase to search on
- (Results appear)
- Use either presses enter for the auto-completed item or selects one or more items from the appearing list
- Repeat steps 1 to 3 until approximately 70 advertisers have been added
I see some fine posts here from many people who really know their stuff, but I think some have gone perhaps a off topic and are somewhat focused on implementation technologies rather than the psychology of good "user interface design".
My final thought to this thread is – perhaps some sort of mechanism to add "groups" to the selection as this would certainly reduce repeating the same workflow 70 times. Some software that I have seen will pick advertisers in a "round robin" approach. Certainly this could help to some of the selection; in addition, you could have predefined groups that you may always want added, perhaps a list of your top paying advertisers or advertisements for products that are "new".
And now for something slightly off topic...
Matty, I see you mentioned Apple and in particular the iPhone -
...we can learn from the iPhone ...key is about making reasonable assumptions that eventuate in decisions made for the user...
Not quite sure which you mean by that after our talk the other day. Not only are touch devices , perhaps less usable, but Apple generally has a history of making software that makes you wonder what they really think of their user base. A prime example – if you wish to rename your iPad device, first you will need to connect it to a computer that in addition has iTunes software. Why on earth I cannot simply go into the General settings of the iPad is anyone's guess.
The best user interfaces are of the style – "inductive user interface design", as opposed to – "deductive user interface design" or in other words – "trial and error". Touch devices fall into the latter category. Let me explain:
If anything touch devices made popular by Apple as in the iTouch, iPhone, and now the iPad have if anything thrown software usability back into the Stone Age of "deductive user interfaces". Like a very badly designed glyph on a button , leaving the user to think – "my goodness, what does that mean?", staring at the screen of a touch device, it is not immediately apparent that using two fingers allows the user to zoom in or out; or my favourite – that holding your finger down and an icon for two seconds or so puts the device into "delete mode".
In the same way that a badly designed icon falls into the category of – "I don't know what that means, but after I use it for the first time, I'll usually remember what it does", many touch devices fall into the category of deductive user interfaces because the user must deduce what the program can actually do by "playing with it" therefore reducing its immediate usability.
Keep up the fine work!
MickyD's Random Thoughts