I am working on the redesign of a transaction history page. Existing design uses expandable data table to show the history of each item. the data set comprises over 8 attributes including the status of each transaction as shown below:

Transaction history

I am trying to simplify the table, eliminate the need to expand panels and allow users to filter and sort records, so far the design roughly looks like this:

enter image description here

I am facing reticence within the team because the suggested pattern and the use of filters will not allow users to have an overview of all transactions at glance. the rationale behind the reviewed design though was to improve findability while the existing design in my opinion is focused on explorability. has anyone been confronted to a similar situation? is there any research to support any of these design patterns?

  • 3
    Thanks for providing a example but in the future turn sketchiness off or at least down, it's a bit off-putting! – Wander Jun 27 '14 at 12:40
  • It is hard to answer without knowing the competency of you users. Is this a web app used by millions with a level of experience from novice to expert, or is this a business app where all users are power users? Also why can't a combination of both patterns be used, expandable tables and filters? – Jason Frade Jun 27 '14 at 15:55
  • Its a solution that we provide to our call center employees to allow them to advise and inform customers about products that they have ordered. i am trying to avoid the use of expandable panels because the number of items that will be displayed on expanding the panel is unpredictable. also I am trying the simplify the table to reduce visual noise and bring more clarity. – Okavango Jun 27 '14 at 17:27
  • Captain, thanks! i agree sketchiness is quite off-putting – Okavango Jun 27 '14 at 17:30
  • @Okavango I suggest editing your question to add some solutions (sketches) you've already tried. – Danger14 Jul 22 '14 at 21:32

Quick Answer

If it's being provided just for call centre employees, have you asked them which of the two they prefer? Running some quick mock-ups past them would resolve your quandry pretty quickly.

More Formal Answer

If you've got two different UI paradigms that your team are arguing over, the only way to work out which is the better one is to test them both with actual users. In your case, that's actually really easy, since all your users are in-house and presumably readily available.

Build some quick mock ups of all three approaches and test them with a couple of actual users.

The three approaches I see are:

  1. Straight non-expanding table (a visual clean up of what you have already)
  2. Filterable list (The version you prefer)
  3. Table where each row can be expanded into the filterable list view (The recommendation from comments)

A low-res mock up for each using 5 or 6 lines of dummy data shouldn't be much effort to put together, and you can use the winning one to iterate on as you move to later versions of the design.

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