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The application that I am designing has a pretty intense searching capability and one of the biggest search criteria is origin and destination. With the company being centered around shipping it is important for our users to be able to search origin and destination by multiple US states and by a radius. I am struggling with what would be the best UI to handle a control like this.

Here are a few ideas I have come up with so far.

Idea 1 Use a combo box approach where the drop down to control radius and multi search is attached to the input where the user enters in the states they want to search

Idea 1 Img

Idea 2 Use radio buttons to control radius and multi search and only show them when the user is focused on the input control.

Idea 2 Img

Does any one have any thoughts on either of these, or has any one had any experience with something like this?

  • Couple observations: none of these suggestions meet your criteria of "one input", as they involve many different selections. As you explicitly permit multiple origins and destinations, consider changing the prompt text strings to "Origins" and "Destinations". Can you give them a map graphic, where they can select a point and a radius, or click on states? Do you want to offer other choices, like "must be within 25 miles of the nearest Interstate exit ramp"? What else is important to your clients? What kind of devices are they using? Ask them. – John Deters Jul 14 '14 at 21:56
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If you can develop your own controls, I'd try combining the two in a single custom "dropdown", something along these lines:

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

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I would suggest the following to make things clear and neat:

enter image description here

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