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I'm trying to find the best experience for replacing or swapping items in a list..

User (Michael) has an inventory list, so when item "A" is no longer available or out of stock, Michael will get the opportunity to update inventory by replacing "A" with "B".

These items have the following: item photo, item name, number, quantity, and brand.

My hypothesis is by item row and swapping with new item row.

Would love to hear other people's views or insight in this.

  • I'm not really sure if your question is a.) relevant for this community or b.) is just poorly formatted. How is your question relevant to the user experience? I'm sorry if I'm missing anything, but I'd really appreciate if you wouldn't mind explaining what it is you need help with from a UX perspective. – geostocker Oct 10 '16 at 14:08
  • I'm trying to find the best UX for this flow. I've looked for this pattern or examples of the best experience for replacing or swapping items. – LaLa Galindo Oct 10 '16 at 14:40
  • What relates the items? – DarrylGodden Jan 8 '17 at 16:48
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I see two possible actions a user should be allowed depending on the context of the inventory.

  1. Let the user put a reservation order on the item if it's out of stock.
  2. Simply display that the item is out of stock and show similar items and / or items that other users ordered in addition to the out of stock item.

These two actions do not need to be mutually exclusive, but can exist together.

Asking the user to remove or swap an item shouldn't be necessary but handled by the system's logic.

Again, it's difficult to know what the context of your question is except that it is regarding an inventory list and concerning how to have the user replace / swap items in it.

If this HAS to be handled manually by the user then I'd suggest properly displaying that the item is out of stock (by text-formatting the column) changing the content of that row's field to a link-button that shows what items are similar that the user can change it to.

enter image description here

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note: this answer somewhat implementation-oriented, but quite simple. And as it affects both UX for the one maintaining the site and UX for the shoppers, I think it's worth explaining.

First, ask yourself if you really, really, really need to delete the information.

You're probably already storing everything in a MySQL database or similar. And you display the items either by running a query and showing the whole table, or by having the app/site load up specific rows via an unique ID.


If it's the first case, you could easily modify the query to something like

for each (item in table)
{
    if (item.amount > 0)
    {
        show item.name, item.picture, item.price
    }
}

Which wouldn't show items that you don't have on stock. But if you have items that you do want to offer but temporarily ran out of, those won't show either. So it's better to add a specific value to the table, indicating whether an items is still being sold by the store. Let's call it 'inventory' for now.

 for each (item in table)
{
    if (item.inventory == true)
    {
        show item.name, item.picture, item.price, item.amount
    }
}

This can even be expanded to include availability, where 0 is no longer being sold, 1 is available, 2 is out of stock but a new shipment is coming, 4 is a custom-made item so there is no stock, and so on and so on.

In the second case (direct links to a row/ID), I would leave the items in the database and just change the link. That way if you ever switch back from B to A, all the information is still there and doesn't have to be put in all over.

Plus, if your database is setup well, you'll have unique ID's and you won't accidentally create a new item C with the exact same ID as item A once had. That could cause a lot of headaches.


On the front end I would have something like an accordion. If you click 'change item' you'd get 3 sections/tabs: edit info, swap links, create new item. (You can put this in the item directly but it might be cluttered)

enter image description here

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