4

As part of our product we have the ability to facet search queries - these lists may be thousands of items long. One of the things that has come up is the desire to be able to say show me results that are "Not Film" or "Film Only". Today we support the "Film Only" case since that's the clear use of facets on the left hand nav.

Is there a standard pattern for which we could use to have "Not Film"? We've discussed triple click checkboxes (Include, Exclude, Don't Care).

Search Facet Example

Update:

Looks like we're going for a presentation that's more like:

Topics:
☐ Pop Music
☐ Gameplay [-] 
☐ Song
☐ Film
☐ Minecraft

Where the "negation" icon will display when you hover over the item. When a user clicks on the negation icon it will change the checkbox to a "negatebox" to display that the option is de-selected. Clearly checking it will remove that state.

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For starters, I'd rethink the use of a list 'thousands of items long'--at least if the UI is check-box centric. That could be a nightmare for the end users.

As for how to handle 'NOT' one idea would be a 'select ALL' option.

Topics:
☐ All
--------
☐ Pop Music
☐ Gameplay
☐ Song
☐ Film
☐ Minecraft

To choose everything EXCEPT Pop Music, the user could select All...

Topics:
☑ All
--------
☑ Pop Music
☑ Gameplay
☑ Song
☑ Film
☑ Minecraft

And then UNCHECK the one they don't want.

Topics:
☐ All
--------
☐ Pop Music
☑ Gameplay
☑ Song
☑ Film
☑ Minecraft

This also allows them a bit more fine grained control, as now they can have multiple 'nots'.

All that said, going back to 1000+ items, maybe faceted search is not the ideal solution here and freeform boolean might make more sense ala Google:

* -"Pop Music"
  • 1
    It'll work, but I am wondering whether there would be a more convenient way, say something where all facets have an "include", "exclude", "don't care" choice? – Marjan Venema Mar 12 '14 at 10:41
  • We've discussed this approach a few times. You end up needing a "All" and "None" checkbox at the top, which allows for either the positive or negative set. I only want Song+Film or I want everything but not Song+Film. – koblas Mar 12 '14 at 14:14
  • You're talking boolean logic there, so would probably suggest the search field route--though you could certainly add radio buttons to select. – DA01 Mar 12 '14 at 14:17
  • @koblas you could add an additional 'none' option. Alternatively, unchecking 'all' could uncheck everything. – DA01 Mar 12 '14 at 14:18
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we are playing with the idea of Alt+click action to remove from selection (with a note about it in tooltip)

  • if the item is selected, this would simply unselect it as a normal click
  • if it is unselected, Alt+click would select all the other items

e.g. in the default state nothing is selected but all results are visible => Alt+click on 2 items would exclude the 2 from the results and make all other items appear selected

we are targeting power users with this feature, on an intranet site + the action should be undoable by using browser back button to encourage experimentation

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