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I am looking for a solution for multiple choice and pricing of a large number of products or services. Available studies are related, in my opinion, to small amount of items, hence I am asking for expert consultation.

User story: the user - the service provider or supplier of products has the ability to choose from a large amount of content (over 1000 products / services). After making a selection, user is evaluating the pricing of the selected services or products. The solution allows the user to quickly and easily select services and products and immediately price-check each product and service.

My thought process has evolved as follows:

a. Selecting a category of products and services and view all items in that category: A prototype showed that the list is very long - too long - even using accordion (dividing items into the subcategories). Smashingmagazine gave a good review of the type of long form that is used at Barleys Greenville but, in my opinion, such a list will not be comfortable.

b. As long as a long list is not comfortable, let’s think about making the list shorter. Finally, after testing several prototypes, we concluded that the solution is to:

  • step a: Choose a category or subcategory of products/servises and list products/services straight away

  • step b: Prompt the user to enter a keyword. Every time user enters the keyword, the system shortens the list to contain only services/products containing the keyword

  • Then, the user enters another key phrase and receives a new list.

Obviously, the user would change the category/subgategory any time, to view lists of different types of products or services. Listings contains input boxes to evaluate the price of the product/service. Every time user changes the category or uses the keyword input box products/services already priced are saved in the database.

I would like to ask you for a recommendation, or a suggestion containing another, better solution.

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Can you clarify what you mean by "valuating-pricing the selected services or products"? Do you mean the user is going through and setting a price against selected products? –  Matt Obee Nov 14 '12 at 15:41
    
Thank You for Your feedback. User - service provider (for example plumber, painter, web designer etc.) is setting a prices for his services (for example plumbing, painting, website programming). Our service is made for comparing services prices and ordering services online. –  Piotr Nov 14 '12 at 17:41
    
I am really unclear about what actually is the problem here. You have a list and it is too long? You have a list and it has too many categories? You have a list and don't know how to divide it into categories? –  kontur Dec 7 '12 at 11:47
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1 Answer

I'm working on this idea (it doesn't work in one browser).
I think it might be useful in your case.
I could add the accelerator (the input text that shortens the list), which I think it's a good idea and my users loved it many times.

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Thank You for Your suggestion - foodSelector seems like good way to choose many categories in one, quick step. As we have about ten times more categories and subcategories in our system, we finally decided to use both: category list and "accelerator". Kind regards! –  Piotr Nov 15 '12 at 16:09
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