I'm developing a Windows Phone 8 app where all the pages are in portrait orientation. I have the problem of designing/porting this kind of a GUI to smart phones:


download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

The comboboxes on the left represent boolean operators, the comboboxes on the right represent various fields (person's name, surname, address...), the middle textboxes contain keywords.

So, I came up with this:


download bmml source

Do you think this UI is understandable for the non-technical folk of the internets? Do you have any suggestions on improving the design?

  • 1
    To me, your mobile mockup looks like if the first field would be a general search (not field-specific), the second field would be for Name, the third field would be for Surname and the Address option must be a strange looking submit button. Why did you place the AND/OR select list to the left of the field select list?
    – unor
    Sep 5, 2013 at 19:57

2 Answers 2


You could try this layout.
enter image description here

The radios are to eliminate drop-down selection tasks on a mobile. At the same time default search attributes (Name, Surname, Address) should be selected as most probable ones to minimize selection tasks, too.

Also if you have no constraints on search field number you could provide all available attributes allowing some of them to be empty while submitting.

  • Excellent. I love this design.
    – Howie
    Sep 4, 2013 at 11:59

This kind of interface should be the advanced mode on computer. On phone typing and many button/combo click is painful.

Very few people like to customize very closely their search with and/or even on computer. If you can, replace it with only one search with no option.
Then on the result page offer filtering options, Name must be, Surname must be, address must include...

The Thunderbird Global search option maybe a good sample how one search with no option and filters can helps to find the result (https://support.mozillamessaging.com/en-US/kb/global-search)

  • Unfortunately, is not up to me. The client wants this kind of advanced mode on the phone.
    – Howie
    Sep 4, 2013 at 11:33
  • Maybe you could present only one search, with one combo name/address then iterate. Show the result page with static text representing the first search "Name is john" and a search box, combo and button to search with AND, search with OR.The third page will have 2 static "Name is john" "AND surname is doe" and so on
    – ColdCat
    Sep 4, 2013 at 11:43

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