I was asked to design a user friendly Report list page, where 100s of reports will be listed.Format of those reports are "word","Matrix","Tabular","Distribution Metrics" etc. What would be the most usual trend to display such Report list? Any example would be helpful.
How meaningful are the report titles? Perhaps a simple list isn't a great solution.
I've worked with systems where all the reports were listed alphabetically, and it can be the devils own job finding the one that you want.
To illustrate, what's the difference between these reports:
- Extended Warranty Sales, 13 Month
- Extended Warranty Sales, Calendar Year
- Extended Warranty Sales, Fiscal Year
- Extended Warranty Sales, IRD Approved
Example based on a real world system, but with some details changed.
The first showed the total sales for the month, based on a 13 month financial accounting year. The next two showed year-to-date totals and targets, based on different start dates for the year - one based on calendar months, the other on the 13 month accounting year, and the last did all the GST accounting in line with New Zealand Inland Revenue Department guidelines.
Now imagine the list contains not 4, but 100 reports all with similar names but similarly substantially different content.
Where am I going with all this? Instead of a simple list, I believe you may need to provide more information (each report should have a description and maybe a sample page) and more control (filtering, searching, recently used reports, favourite reports and so on).
You may benefit by fragmenting Types of reports like "word" "matrix" "table" and "metrics" by definitive icons to differentiate them.
The report list page will have icons to match each of them for quick identification, If your list page holds sorting functionality, then all these icons can be the arranged as in a horizontal tabs and grouped together, where your information design will need to be tweaked.
I do not know whether your list page is a bunch of rows that show items, or would you want to split them in tabs and make users to find items easily.
Building a tree diagram in accordance to the type of reports will also be good, with a defined default report type to start with.