We have a set of devices that belong to different groups. Each device generates multiple time-series data streams that can be visualised. All devices in the same group have same data streams.

For example:
Group 1:
        Device 1
        Device 2
        Device 3
        Stream 1
        Stream 2
        Stream 3
Group 2:
        Device 1
        Device 2
        Stream 1
        Stream 2

A user can select devices from each group with their streams. What would be the best way to let a user navigate through such selection?

Presently, we're thinking for two dropdowns for each category, one for devices and the other for streams.

  • Can a device belong to two groups? Can a device have two streams or more streams? Can a stream belong to more than one device?
    – Alvaro
    Jan 14, 2017 at 18:17
  • How many devices can a user select at a particular time? How many streams at a particular time? Jan 14, 2017 at 18:44
  • A device cannot belong to two groups. A device can have more than two streams (user can select both). A stream can belong only to one device. A user can select any number of devices and streams at a particular time.
    – user730936
    Jan 14, 2017 at 20:07
  • Sounds like a coursework question. Jul 14, 2017 at 16:42

2 Answers 2


As thinking the behavior of multiple selection, I got inspiration from Windows or MacOS file selection, it's a familiar experience for user. The challenge is how to present the three levels structure as an easy understanding layout. I simulate the layout as below:

enter image description here


I guess the "normal way" is to select a device and then select it's streams. This way implies that each device has checkboxes associated, then when a stream is already assigned it should disappear from the other device's checkboxes, and it gets complex.

An easier way would be to assign a dropdown of devices to each stream; as each stream can belong only one device, but each device can have several streams. This way is much easier but makes the selection from, what I suspect would be, the last point.

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