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22

Some sites have "near miss" matches after their exact matches. If a user has exhausted everything precisely matching their criteria but is still looking, there's a clear line and an explanation that this is the end of the results, then "near misses" sorted by how close to matching they are. "Unspecified" would rank higher in this formula than "specified ...


19

A dropdown list (or combobox) should already be a clear indication that you need to select an item from there, so wasting the first item by telling someone this is redundant and a poor idea. The only times that I would recommend having some other text in the dropdown are: when it is not essential to select an item when you want effectively to select ...


17

In the original GUI guidelines from the Lisa/Macintosh, Xerox Star, and Microsoft Windows, check boxes are, as the name implies, something you can mark (with a check-mark) if you wish to select or mark it - or clear if you wish to deselect it. Each checkbox choice is independent of each other, in terms of their activation. Radio buttons, on the other hand, ...


17

A few things about your question and some next steps: User Experience Experts are just people that swallow their pride & know to ask their users / customers. I'd like to think my experience gives me a solid base for presenting better-than-average first-shots, but I know that users ultimately control the direction of my work. I wouldn't necessarily ...


16

When your values are on a nominal scale (names without an inherent order except alphabetical - e.g. "phones; appliances; laptops"), it makes more sense to filter, because sorting is basically meaningless - they have no real order. The exception to this is when you have a very large number of different values, which aren't repetitive, e.g. Names. In that case ...


15

I vote for option #4. A search from the main page should show mostly videos and a few pictures to hint to the user that there may be more content types on the site than they realize. If they're searching from a picture page, show mostly pictures but a few related videos as well. download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups


14

Yes, there is a convention: checkboxes = option for multiple choices radio-buttons = only one single choice among the options


14

Nested blocks in a vertical layout This pattern tested very well with our users. It uses common language to explain what you are looking for and allows any level of complex grouping where individual blocks can be moved around, changed from AND to OR, or deleted. This level of clarity does take up quite a bit of space but not too much for most simple ...


14

For most decisions about whether to put an interactive element (filter control, comments box, etc.) above or below an element it usually comes down to which you want the user to read and engage first. In this case you likely don't want the user to read each of the fonts before choosing to filter them, so I would put it at top. This allows the user to ...


13

Yes, its a convention. If you take a look at big and heavy traffic sites like Amazon or Ebay, you will see this behaviour. You see everything of a list unless you start filtering by checking a filter option. And no filter is preselected/checked at start. Make sure not to forget a clear filters option. At some point you could filter so heavily, that no ...


12

I recently spoke with Sarah Alpern about her work on refining LinkedIn's search. They too have a great deal of data to sift through. She has written two great posts on this subject that I think you will find useful. http://blog.linkedin.com/2008/12/02/optimizing-your-linkedin-search-experience/ http://blog.linkedin.com/2010/03/05/designing-linkedin-...


12

It depends on what you want to do. :) Use checkboxes (or other toggle buttons) if you want to provide for applying several filters at once. If you want to use them for single value, then listen to @AndroidHustle regarding manipulating them, and only use them for single, independent, boolean values. download bmml source – Wireframes created ...


11

I agree with @Nir that what you currently have is functional. It is difficult to miss the fact that not all records may be visible. What I don't like is the uncertainty, i.e. how you state that "proteins may be hidden". Are they hidden or not? This screen snapshot describes a couple of different ways of doing it: The record count is shown on top, ...


11

Regarding Microsoft abandoning adaptive menus when creating Office 2007, have a look at this video with principal group program manager on the Microsoft Office UX team Jensen Harris: The Story of the Ribbon (at around 07:45)


10

Keep filters on the left side and make categories collapsible. It's the most common approach so doing it differently might confuse/disorient users. You might want to show some frequently-used options expanded and you can find out which ones those are by doing some user research & testing. There are plenty of sites with complex filtering options (mostly ...


10

This is really a problem of linguistics. In some languages, for example, there's no difference between green and blue. There is some research done by Brent Berlin and Paul Kay, which suggests a natural evolution of colours within languages (see here). I would use this as some guidance towards which are the most 'important' colours. The following diagram ...


9

I think adding a progress-tracker would be a good way to guide the user to complete the 3 step process. Check out the mockup below. When the page loads up all the steps in the progress tracker would be grey. But as the user selects an option under each list, the selected value can be displayed right above the list with some sort of indication that it's ...


9

In Best Practices for Designing Faceted Search Filters Greg Nudelman talks about "drill-down" versus "parallel" selection: A link is the simplest mode of filter selection. By clicking a link, a customer can either select a single value for a specific filter or drill down a level in a taxonomy, like a category or department hierarchy. [...] In ...


9

No. For the user to actively specify a color, then see colors which do not match their specification risks confusion and a lack of confidence in the accuracy of the tool. An alternative would be to add a sub-category of "Unspecified". If you want to do something really interesting, crowd-source the data in the Unspecified category and ask users to say what ...


8

I like Alastair's answer, but to add a bit to it. Filter: Only filters based on a single criteria, such as the name and leaves the ordering intact. Search: Applies all metadata and complex algorithms to the search such as boosting. Search is more complex, because you have to rank the best results first. (example: Google) Filtering doesn't care about ...


8

You could use the token-field design pattern for displaying and selecting the multiple options. This has the advantage of letting the user see all the items they have already selected while they select more, not just the options that match the current filter. Some token-field implementations also implement the type-ahead filter design pattern you have. ...


8

You are facing a problem that Google has already solved and extensively tested, so copy them. In essence it is: Use a query language that is appropriate for your audience - Lucene is a decent choice for this. Query languages are faster for advanced users to use, and is what most search engines allow. Offer an "Advanced search" link/tab/button that shows ...


8

Suggested solution: How should I visually represent multiple three-state flags? The complication is that each flag has three possible states Means there are only two states "on/off" for the component, but component itself can be disabled or enabled. So it is enough to have two state switch. Having that understanding it is possible to throw ...


8

For questions like this, especially around customer experience in e-commerce, I sometimes try to imagine the situation as it might occur in the brick-and-mortar world. In an actual shop, would you ask your customers to stare at a wall until they told you what they were looking for? Of course not. Customers want to browse.


8

Use a tabbed container for the filters A common and acceptable way to separate filter options, is to user tabs (or versions of tabs) This can often be seen on travel websites, where users can search for several different services. With this method, it's only possible to submit one set of search criteria at one time. Put each set of filters in an ...


7

If I understand correctly, your "problem" (insofar that it's a problem) is that not selecting anything leads to the same result as selecting both filters. You could solve this in various ways: Add a third option "None" and make it exclusive (eg. when you select it, the other two deselect automatically) Use copy to specify that "none selected" means the ...


7

Somewhere near the end of the thesis they reference a paper from 2004 which discusses this very subject. A comparison of static, adaptive, and adaptable menus. abstract Software applications continue to grow in terms of the number of features they offer, making personalization increasingly important. Research has shown that most users prefer the ...



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