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(Implementing on PC environments, desktop and web applications)

When showing ordered data lists with comparable values​​, which offers the feature of jump to a section of the list, and highlight it, given a minimum search criteria, such as, an alphabet letter, a date time selector or a number (don't confuse with complex deep searches or advanced filtering; just skips, quick auto scrollings)...

e.g.:
We have this grid, since text value column 'Names' defines records sorting, UI let us perform a quick search, to avoid long manual scrolling, or (if paging exists) clicking 'Next' button many times, etc.

Now, an user wants to (with minimum input) quickly jump to beginning section of records whose 'Names' value starts with 'S', to: check their 'Status', modify, delete, export to files, whatever he wants to do.

If there is 'S'-started values, then, just jump to the first and give it focus, easy!

enter image description here


But now, what would be better to do, if in that list, there are no coincidences?

• Display a message: "Dear user, there is no matches!", and stay there

• Sound notification

• Skip to the closest and give focus

...

enter image description here

Ok, auto scroll and skip to the ascending closest, but what if users choose 'Z', and records 'Names' first letter values starts from 'A' to 'U'

Is there any other alternatives around to handle these situations?
Based on experience, what would be the best to do?

  • I think the strategy would depend on the search criteria available to the user, and they are looking for a specific value (or set of values) or not. Can you provide more context so a more specific answer (or answers) can be provided? – Michael Lai Jul 23 '14 at 23:15
  • If you provide a list of choices using a <select>, a "Jump to" button is redundant: when selecting in a list, press a letter on your keyboard to skip to that letter. Anyways, this behavior is not touchscreen friendly. I'd suggest going for @sahithya 's solution why provides more visual feedback and may be faster to use. – refreshfr Jul 24 '14 at 12:08
  • @refreshfr "Jump to" is a label not a button, I'll update the question soon! – Shin Jul 24 '14 at 12:28
  • @MichaelLai The question has little more detail now, Regards. – Shin Jul 24 '14 at 23:38
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An alternative could be to use the search with filter functionality. That way you wouldn't have to display error messages and the user would be able to clearly distinguish scenarios where there is a match and scenarios without a match. The user also avoids scrolling to find the matched result using this method.

When results matching search are filtered and displayed: Results matching search are filtered and displayed

When no matching results are found, no options are displayed: No matching results are shown upon search

You can try out an example here: http://jsfiddle.net/potherca/BvELq/

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First of all need more information about where this list be implemented.

If it be any PC browser then good to use autocomplete functionality like in prev answer by sahith.

But on Tablet and Mobile I don't recommend you use this feature because keyboard can use half of screen and connection can be slow and result list be not visible or show with delay.

In all cases better show user message 'no records found' then user know that result with this parameter not found and don't wait thinking that result be showed soon.

  • It's for PC environments – Shin Jul 24 '14 at 23:36
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I think given the description, you are probably better off adding some filtering/sort function to the header row of the table and using them to return a result set. This probably gives you the most flexibility and you can customize the behaviour to more specific use cases.

So for example, if you were trying to search for a name (it can be first or last name even if you are just going by the first letter), then you can try typing it into a search input field on that header row, and if it returns no result then you know that there are no such records for the first name (if that's the column you are searching by) or the last name.

And if your goal was to find out if there was a particular person or not with a set status, you could also instead search or filter on the status column and try to see if the list of names is small enough for you to eliminate things that you were not looking for.

Therefore, by separating the search/result views you can avoid the heavy messaging but still give the users clear ways to locate the information they want.

  • Well, the application I'm working on, offers advanced search tools, (according to every value column, with date ranges, status filtering, set of results, autocomplete text boxes, etc). On the other hand, this 'jump to' feature (just quick auto scrollings) is already implemented, and I'm not allowed to change it for another one, thanking your interesting suggestions, my question is oriented to handling the 'no matches' occurrences. – Shin Jul 25 '14 at 14:01

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