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18

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 ...


15

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

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, ...


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

Yes, its a convention. If you take a look at big 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 product could match ...


10

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/ ...


10

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

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 ...


8

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 ...


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 ...


7

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 ...


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 ...


7

Yes, it's possible to integrate filters with breadcrumbs to create a more robust product browsing experience. Such a system is called faceted navigation (your filters are facets). There's one catch to it: you must give your users the option to edit/remove any of them without changing the rest. Faceted navigation mimicking breadcrumbs is easy to implement in ...


7

Is the equity of choice a good thing for the user? If the user could benefit from better load balancing due to shorter queue times, longer assistance or better resources, why not expose that fact to the users and let them choose less busy staff for their own sake? If the equity isn't useful for the user, try exposing more points of difference in the list so ...


7

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 ...


7

It is almost always better to both (a) cut out unnecessary steps, and (b) immediately show the user results of an action. Automatically filtering results when the user clicks a check box does both of these things, and having a "Filter" button does not, so the first design is better. Of course, it should also be easy for the user to undo or change the ...


6

I know Gmail has this same issue, that is when you search emails and apply a label to only those on screen it ask if you like to apply it to 100% of the search results, or only just those on screen. In your case, instead of "Tag filter applied, Proteins may be hidden" why not just say "Tag filter applied, Hiding X% of proteins" String Length Comparison: ...


6

Mac OS X's finder in column view is a great pattern to follow for this. Imagine each decision is a folder (except on the left where there's just one choice). Then each step of the way you can move to the right. It's nice because you can move several steps back easily, while still being able to see quite a bit of context and alternatives. If you change an ...


6

Disable (grey out) stuff that's not applicable, don't hide it... Unless it is a security/user permission level (e.g., sysadmin vs programmer, manager vs. employee - same person sees same thing always). This is assuming what you mean by 'over time' is that previous context causes the items to be applicable or not. We ran across the exact issue and if ...


6

I guess Ryan option will be fine if the search is not the main feature on the site, let me explain. The point is that in order to plannify the best way to display the filters you need to think on user behaviour... If the main feature on the page is search and users will need to search frecuently and using several filters to hide some of them is not a good ...


6

Visual Studio 11 has a function to search for symbols in the Solution Explorer tree view: See Visual Studio 11 (Developer Preview) IDE Improvements.



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