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?

Grid with operators

Open to any suggestion.

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    Can we get more detail here? What situation is this used in? Improve it how? What is wrong with this implementation that makes you think it needs changing? Is it testing badly? – JonW Feb 27 '15 at 11:53
  • User can search for parameters P = 1, PS > 5 or PSC between 50 and 400 etc. For all search operators except "between" only Value1 column is used. Value2 column is always displayed for UI consistency, but works only for between. I think it's useless for general usage, I want a different solution, couldn't figure out yet – Gün Karagöz Feb 27 '15 at 11:55
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    @GünKaragöz if you incorporate your clarifications in your question rather than in comments its much easer for all to see them and understand them. – Okavango Feb 27 '15 at 12:18

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.

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  • I agree. Using the table layout with redundant column is unnecessary when it can be solved with fixed rows but variable fields depending on the filter. It's also more extensible this way for future advanced queries – tohster Feb 27 '15 at 22:42

Here is how Google handles between in Analytics.

Google Analytics between using only less than, greater than and AND

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.

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  • Thanks for the idea but I have also include/exlude option, but it works for all filters. (it has to be), so it will be confusing. – Gün Karagöz Mar 3 '15 at 6:54
  • Using (a > 10) AND (a < 1) may be logically equivalent to (1 < a < 10), but it certainly is not as usable. The user model is to have a value within a range, and this design relies on the user to reconstruct the logical equaivalence. If the between case is more than an edge case, I would not consider this design. – virtualnobi Mar 3 '15 at 13:09

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.

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  • Between checks for value1<P<value2 The problem is value2 is only used for between operator. I want to improve usage by removing this column or by another idea. It's not easy since there are 500-600 parameters in list. Allowing users to use a parameter more than one may cause a huge list. On the other hand, this is already used by users since years. – Gün Karagöz Mar 3 '15 at 7:07
  • @GünKaragöz, upps, if you have 500 parameters, I think you need to work on the usability of finding the correct parameter first. Any improvement relating to the second value of "between" might be dwarfed by complexities of the 500-parameter list. – virtualnobi Mar 3 '15 at 13:12
  • finding correct parameter is relatively easy since grid filter helps, also users have saved lists for parameters. problem about between is displaying an empty/useless column if users do not use between operator. – Gün Karagöz Mar 4 '15 at 7:36
  • You asked how to get rid of that column. You can trade that column for a row. – paparazzo Mar 4 '15 at 16:28

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.

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