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We have a dashboard with widgets across multiple entities. Each widget has its own filter, including filtering by release, sprint, milestone.

We are working on adding a global filter, which would apply those three time-related options (release, sprint, milestone) to most widgets.

  1. When I use the global filter and filter by Release A, I would expect all widgets to be overridden by Release A, but what happens if I change one or more of the individual widgets to filter by Release B - what should be displayed in the global filter?
  2. There are only a few widgets that are not related to release, but are related to milestone, which might or might not be related to release - how should those widgets be affected?

4 Answers 4

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My name is Juan and I am UX Designer at Pencil & Paper Labs. Every week our team of designers chooses a new UX problem to solve live during our "Dev problem of the week" series. This week we voted to try to solve your question.

We thought we would share the video with you and hopefully you can find our antics useful in anyway. We had to make some assumptions and we tried different solutions. At the very least we hope you find our video entertaining.

Youtube link

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We would love to have you in our future sessions to help you solve a UX problem together.

During our session we discussed a potential use case. We start we three widgets, one of them (the one in the middle) which would NOT be affected by the global filter.

enter image description here

Once the global filter has been enabled any widgets that could be affected by the filter are immediately changed to use the global filter. We clearly inform the users that the global filter is active AND that individual widget filters are disabled until the global filter is cleared. Also note that the widget in middle was not affected by the global filter since its individual filter does not apply.

enter image description here

If the user decides to remove the global filter all of the individual widget filters will be enabled BUT they will maintain the last used global filter. Essentially we are thinking that the global filter will be a nice way to do a batch operation on the different widgets.

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Hope this helps!

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Instead of a global filter you could provide a «apply for all» function. The meaning is. Your global filter will not reflect the filtersettings but set the filter in each widget.

So if you filter globally by release, it is only an action that sets the release filter in each widget to the specific release. If a widget does not have a release filter this widget is not affected and if the user changes the filter in a single widget there is no influence on the global filter since the global filter does not show any state.

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  • Thanks BrunoH. I understand what you mean but the customers also asked to be able to easily navigate between previous/next release. ability they already have in a different module in the application by a context/global filter. it was suggested internally to use a mechanism which in each individual widget you can control whether it is taken from global filter or internally by the widget filter. i'm afraid it might be too complicated for the user who looks at the dashboard to understand what he is currently seeing Jan 26 at 13:44
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I think the answer depends on your users' level of understanding what they see and how comfortably they can interpret dashboard data.

If flexible filtering which combines global and local filters may produce visual mess, misunderstanding or, most important, even misleading then you should avoid combining filters. So, activating global filter should disable corresponding local filters.

If you give user freedom to use local filter when global filter is set then corresponding global filter should be deactivated to avoid conflict with real picture.

If you have strict global filter which disables local filters another widgets should comply with it thus milestone widgets related to another release or not related to any other release should be filtered.

Of course, this is very general point of view as we have no details but the main thing is that your dashboard information must not lead to incorrect decisions. No one shouldn't have ability to say 'I make wrong decision because I think that according filters this data should be different' and be right.

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When I use the global filter and filter by Release A, I would expect all widgets to be overridden by Release A, but what happens if I change one or more of the individual widgets to filter by Release B - what should be displayed in the global filter?

Once a widget stops being filtered by A, the global filter is no longer being applied. Reset the global filter to have no selection.

There are only a few widgets that are not related to release, but are related to milestone, which might or might not be related to release - how should those widgets be affected?

If the user changes the unaffected milestone widget to a release widget, and A is being applied to all release widgets, apply A to the changed widget if you think that's what they'll expect. Once A stops being applied to all widgets, the Global Filter gets reset, so there wouldn't be an expectation that future changes will adhere to A.

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