i have a page which comprises of multiple blocks. The blocks are like containers that have to accommodate several contents.

The contents you can imagine as say some text/sentences. These are present in the database.

Above the blocks/Containers there is a search box where I search for these contents from the database and add them to the selected blocks.

This is the UI:

enter image description here

The UI is fine until here. But it is really cumbersome to search an add contents like this when you have 100 of blocks/containers and more then 1000 contents.

I just wanted to request if any one can come up with a better suggestion.

EDIT : This application is basically to design a survey app. The yellow boxes are the categories and the contents are the questions. On this page the user is basically going to assign questions to different categories. The Categories and other aspects are designed on another screen. And the questions are already present in the database.

EDIT 2: This is the actual design of the page( What i failed to mention earlier). The categories(groups) i mentioned earlier are actually a part of layout which is designed on this website. Please see the image attached... enter image description here

I have modified the design as per @Alexey Kolchenko suggestion and separated the two operations of searching the question and then allotting them to the respective layouts.

But still my original question and difficulty remains. i.e. the questions will exceed more then 1000 and the layouts, groups could be nearly 100 ... so it would be really tedious for the user to allot the questions.

Note: A question could be allotted to more than one groups as well.

  • What are the blocks and what are the contents? That matters to the answer.
    – user31143
    Sep 20, 2013 at 11:02
  • And what is the user task? Google searches tons of content and people (mostly) are happy with it. Sep 20, 2013 at 11:30
  • Please see the Edit @dan1111
    – shree
    Sep 20, 2013 at 11:33
  • Please see the Edit @Alexey Kolchenko
    – shree
    Sep 20, 2013 at 11:33
  • So even after search phase you still have 1000+ questions for a survey creation? Sep 21, 2013 at 18:27

1 Answer 1


It seems you try to solve two equally important tasks in one interface:

  1. Searching for the appropriate questions, and
  2. Assigning them to the categories.

Both tasks are important, so the interface could bring not only heavy cognitive load to a user, but slips and errors as well. It's a bad practice to eat banana and play guitar at the same time!

What I propose is to consider search task as primary for this screen and assigning to the categories as secondary one. So the working area is for search results. The result of search task is set of picked questions. If user could easy assign the category while picking – he could do it. Otherwise he could just pick the question in empty category.

enter image description here

You should assume also there could be good questions but categories are bed designed and could just be added or modified later. So don't restrict user in the picking nice questions at this step (it is do intended for this task)!

The amount of picked questions is displayed on the right panel.

After search task is finished, user moves to composition step, where he could assign and re-assign the question while preparing survey.

  • Thanks for your suggestion @Alexey Kolchenko. Please see the EDIT2
    – shree
    Sep 21, 2013 at 5:45

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