I've screen with search panel on the left and search results on the right (results are displayed when user sets search criteria and presses "Search"). I also have 'Add Good' button on the right, which users can use to add new entry.

Consider the following scenario - A user searches for goods by setting a search criteria as follows: "GoodCategory = Boots" which yields no results. Then he adds a new good with GoodCategory=Hat. What is the best UI practice for the scenario - am I supposed to show that freshly added Hat and mark search panel as Dirty, hide Hat based on fact that it's filtered out by search criteria or something else?

3 Answers 3


As I understand it, your search function and 'add' function are independent, i.e. the behaviour of the 'add' button doesn't change based on any search criteria that may be set. The problem you have is that a newly created object may not match the active search criteria and would therefore not appear in the filtered list once created.

I have encountered similar situations in CMS interfaces. I would reset the search criteria to the default blank state after adding a new object so that the newly created object is visible.

One important thing to pay attention to is how your interface describes the relationship between the two functions. If you have the search form followed by the 'add' button' followed by the filtered list, you risk implying that the 'add' function is somehow influenced by the search criteria. I would instead have the 'add' function first, and then have the search form and the results together below it.

Does that make sense?

  • It does, the only problem is what should I set my search criteria to after a record's been added? If I just blank it up it'll display tonns of records which kinds kills the purpose... From what I gathered there's no clean and 100% intuitive solution for the problem, a lot of it depends subjective factors, such as previous user experience...
    – Dmitry
    Commented Sep 20, 2012 at 11:23
  • As I say I would reset it to the default. I guess it all depends on the use case and expected task process. Would a user really perform a search for objects matching specific criteria, decide to add a new object that doesn't match that criteria, and then expect to continue browsing the original list of results?
    – Matt Obee
    Commented Sep 20, 2012 at 11:29

You always need to give feedback to the user that something has been added or they are at a risk of being confused.

One thought might be to have a filter for "Show new". And when a user Adds a new entry you switch the search/filter to this "Show new", and display the new entry.

"Show new" might be something like session or even a given time frame for what is appropriate for you.

Hope it helps, good luck!


@Dmitry: something else.
When you browse a forum's subjects list, you see them sorted by decreasing date of the last post. But, on top of all them there are the "sticky" posts, telling the users to read the FAQ, not to flame and the like.
Well, your user's hat is sticky, because as it has been added by hand, a sovereign action by the user, that you should not interfere with.
I would show it at the top, like a search engine's sponsored link, giving it a slightly distinctive look.
On the other hand, the search text also belongs to the user, and I would't dare modifying it too.

  • I kinda like it - you can probably show a message like 'Your entry's been added to the database but was consequently filter out by your search criteria - do you want to adjust search criteria Yes/No'...
    – Dmitry
    Commented Sep 20, 2012 at 11:19
  • IMO if the user selected an item she should see it all the time. Also, remember that we are talking about one arbitrary selected item, but there might be many, dozens, so we should not expect her to remember all of them during the session.
    – Juan Lanus
    Commented Sep 20, 2012 at 22:02
  • Additionally, one shouldn't mention the database in the UI, bacause it's an implementation artifact, pertaining only to the implementation model (bit.ly/Ta7WOz). To the user should be "your selection" or whatever.
    – Juan Lanus
    Commented Sep 20, 2012 at 22:05

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