2

I have the following structure of data:

   A
    /B
      /E
      /F
    /C
      /G

But most of the time, it is not interesting to the end user which 2nd level items the 3rd level items belong to.

A
 (collapsed)
             /E
             /F
             /G

One user interaction (click) should switch between the two views.

It doesn't seem so weird, does it? But no example springs to mind that does this. Also, somewhat unclear to me how to MVVM it. We have the Telerik Devcraft WPF controls. But unless the descriptive term for this mechanic eludes me, I don't think it has out-of-the-box support.

What is this called? What should I google? Can you think of an example (real-world example/blog post/code example) where this GUI mechanic is examplified?

  • 1
    What you are proposing is an odd way of either navigating or displaying hierarchical list content - the tiers that the user travels through to get to their destination item are important navigational tools for reversing out of blind alleys and correcting wrong turns. Also, if the data needs to be displayed in a hierarchy then there is probably a strong argument for showing it's place within that hierarchy. I think you're trying to solve the wrong problem - maybe that data shouldn't be hierarchical. – Andrew Martin Jan 30 '17 at 9:21
  • 1
    The first question would be why does E, F & G nest on a 3rd level if B & C are not of interest? – DarrylGodden Jan 30 '17 at 9:24
  • One example would be number of alarms in an area, but it is not interesting at that time which exact rooms the alarms are triggered in, or whether they were triggered by detector category flame/smoke/IR. – Tormod Jan 30 '17 at 11:37
  • @Tormod, well, that would surely be indicated at a higher level in the hierarchy - I still think you're trying to present/manipulate the wrong data set. – Andrew Martin Jan 30 '17 at 12:03
2

More a suggestion than an answer...

What you've shown seems to be an ideal use case for tagging, and/or types.

Consider Finder/FileExplorer:

You can see folders collapsed or open, and each file in a folder is of a type, and can have tags, too.

In your case, the simplest variation is "file type" equivalence, sometime like the following, if the user chooses to show the file "type":

/A
    /E.B
    /F.B
    /G.C

Hidden types, but with a dot denoting a type quality exists:

/A
    /E.
    /F.
    /G.
  • Yes, it would be a option to have the middle layer represented as properties on the third level items. However, it is desirable to display middle level categories as a hierarchy when the middle layer is of interest. – Tormod Jan 30 '17 at 11:41
  • 1
    in that case, use "sort by type", just as in Mac Finder and Windows FileExplorer, @Tormod – Confused Jan 30 '17 at 11:43

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