I'm currently working on a search engine for a software package. With this search, you can search for specific events in a video file if the software can find it.
You set a predefined set of filters, you enter some values into these filters and the software will show some thumbnails if they meet the parameters you entered. The idea is to get as little results as possible.... if you have more than 10 results, you are still being to vague. Results are shown in a grid of thumbnails next to the list of parameters, with a maximum of 20 thumbnails at the same time... more results are paged (but like i said, the goal is to get at least under 10 results).
Now my idea was to first set your parameters and then press a search button to initialize the search. IF you still got to many results, you would edit the filters and search again. My project manager actually wanted to start searching as soon as you opened up the engine. Meaning you would first get all possible events the software can find, and when you enter some parameters, the results will be filtered to lower and lower results until you find what you are looking for. Just like most online shops do it with Faceted Navigation.
Which option would be better for a situation like this. I have a feeling that a constant updates for every action you take is distracting for the user.