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Context

Users should be able to filter tables with device information such as number of issues and number of products by time period. The filter allows users to enter a date and time manually (on the left) or pick a preselected option (on the right).

For some tables (e.g. including number of issues) "now" should be a filter option, for other tables (e.g. including number of products) "now" doesn't make sense.

enter image description here

Questions

1. What location is most understandable for the "now" option?

A. In the list of preselected options

B. Next to the time and date filter enter image description here

2. Is it more understandable to hide the "now" or disable it when it is not available?

(E.g. in a table that only shows number of products.)

Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

  • 1
    when you say now, do you mean data refreshing in realtime? – Mike M Aug 30 '17 at 14:25
  • Yes, it should show real-time data (not a one-time refresh). – Avadeha Aug 30 '17 at 14:39
3

Try not to hide conditional options because users will start to distrust the application. They can't be expected to memorize the rules that govern the application.

  1. Is it more understandable to hide the "now" or disable it when it is not available?

Users will have a difficult time memorizing rules that govern which data sets are not available in realtime, so rather than put the burden (and sense of uncertainty which accompanies) on them, gray out the option and have an explanation that this is not available.

  1. What location is most understandable for the "now" option?

Map the terms in your date picker range labels with the list of choices in the menu.

You can include the range terminology in your datepicker date field. In my example I also included the actual date in a more subtle manner, but you might not need that.

Users will be trying to match the terms you're using for the canned ranges (Last hour, yesterday, etc.), so be explicit and match them in the input field, so they see the currently selected (input field) and available (list of ranges) in close proximity to each other. Now is another choice, similar to the others.

I've appended the term Realtime, as it suggests a continuous stream. You often see this term in Ops tools, where data is refreshing constantly.

Caveat: the difference of realtime data

With realtime data, the contents of the table will most likely be shifting. For this, you can add an additional indicator that the UI is subject to changes as the user is viewing. I've put this in the example below.

For unavailable options, provide hints:

enter image description here

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