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I have a large number of reports separated by category. Now I want the user to be able to find the most frequently used reports more easily.

I came up with the idea of providing the user the ability to create his own "Favorites" category. Then he can add the desired reports to the Favorites category and directly navigate to it to find frequently used reports.

Should I:

  1. Keep original report also in its original category and then add a duplicate one to the Favorites category.

Mock-up showing two Categories, A and B, with reports A1-3 and B1-3 with Favorites category showing A1 and B2

  1. After the user adds one report to the Favorites category, should that report be removed from original category so that there are no duplicates

Mock-up showing two Categories, A and B, with reports A2-3 and B1&3 with Favorites category showing A1 and B2

It looks simple but when a user searches for a particular report by typing in some text then how the state is represented is the one that makes this thing a usable user friendly UI or not.

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Can you clarify what you mean by that last paragraph? – eleanor.mal May 6 '13 at 19:17
up vote 3 down vote accepted

My first thought is do not remove recent reports from their original category.

It sounds like you have two "views": reports "by category", and "favorite reports". Style the two sections differently (put "favorites" in a sidebar, for example, or a different tab, etc). I'd also put favorite reports near the top for quick access--or at least not at the bottom of the list :)

You could also consider leaving them in their original categories but giving them a different kind of visual style to make them stand out. A star icon, perhaps, or bold type. Just a thought :)

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The others answers are great but you can add some help to the user with a more graphical approach.

Mock-up :


download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

! It does not have to be hearts.

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