I have a grid with comparison functionality. The problem is I have to use column 2 only for "between" operator, for other comparison/search operators it's useless.
How can I improve this?
Open to any suggestion.
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The solution I've seen is to not use a fixed grid, but a set of fields as required. Each condition has its own row, containing the necessary fields. Since every operator needs one value, one value field is always visible. When the user selects "between", a second field is added for this row only.
I have no specific testing results supporting or discouraging this design, however.
Here is how Google handles between in Analytics.
Using only less than, greater than and AND, between is easy to achieve. With Include/Exclude you could also select the values not between two values.
There is also "equals" selection in the operator dropdown also. So every operator visible in your picture should be available with the Google way. It only assumes that the users have some knowledge logical AND operator.
Between is not clear - is that Greater than and Less than or Greater than or equals and Less than of equals
With the time component people often prefer:
Greater than or equals and Less than
And users also might want an outside.
Just let them enter P twice and on the second limit the operators to the other 3.
We have seen such a functionality and the approach we took involves a dynamic third column. First two columns being parameter and operator, the third is dynamically populated based on selection of the operator.
I'd suggest you to think about various data types too. Having a third column dynamic one can create probably a date picker, amount input, two values for input, based on the parameter type/operator selected by the user.
Also, we refrained from styling it as a grid and kept it's visuals more open and flexible by giving an impression of rows stacked on each other.
I hope I'm of some help.