The title may not suffice to describe the nature of my problem here. But to describe, I'll give my data model and the current UI used to implement it.

The tables and relation :

  1. I only have two tables here. One for entry and one for seed_storage.
  2. The relation is - one entry can only have one seed_storage. But an entry may choose from many seed_storage records.
  3. There are three(3) cases :
    a. entry has exactly one seed_storage to choose from.
    b. entry has more than one seed_storage to choose from. c. entry doesn't have any seed_storage to choose from.

The user needs :

  1. To select an seed_storage record for an entry, using filters and single out the most appropriate seed_storage for that entry.

The current UI : (please open the image in new tab to be able to see it more clearly)

  1. The user has a list of entries to he/she wants. (I've marked two examples here green and blue)
  2. The goal is that the seed source (boxed in red) is filled up in the next UI/too

enter image description here

  1. The user is then directed to this tool below to select the appropriate seed_storage record. This is a entry - seed_storage joined table. separated in three(3) tabs as I've mentioned earlier.

enter image description here

  1. Above you can see only four entries, and that is because these four entries have exactly one seed_storage record to choose from. They will only be allowed to enter the volume and then confirm it. My example (in blue) for example has only one seed_storage record available for it.

  2. The next case below is if the entry has more than one seed_storage record to choose from:

enter image description here

  1. Like my example (in green). This entry can choose from two seed storage records. This is my current UI, there's a button on the right hand corner that acts as a radio button - but only within distinct entries. Upon clicking the select, the form "To be used" column is enabled and the user can then input the volume.

  2. Same as for other entries that have multiple seed_storage records. The button will act as a radio button for each distinct entry.

The problem :

The problem lies with the multiple seed sources tab. The current UI is fairly usable for relatively smaller number of entries. But in reality/production, users actually define 500-1000 entries.

The user needs :

  1. To filter out the appropriate seed source label using the data filters like source study and year.

  2. Single out that seed source and select it.

  3. As much as possible have it in bulk.

  4. A user could filter out all seed sources in a particular source study ( say "PBD, BRRI" or "IS2014-051" , therefore showing (in this example) and singling out exactly one seed_storage record for each entry. Then allow the user to select them. (not one by one which could be tedious, but in bulk)

  • The following two statements seem incompatible: 1. Entry doesn't have any seed_storage to choose from; and 2. The user needs to select the appropriate seed_storage for that entry. Can you explain? – tohster Mar 3 '15 at 6:43
  • entry to seed_storage relation. Entry may or may not have a seed storage record.. and that's okay.. but entry may also have multiple seed storage record to choose from. – muffin Mar 3 '15 at 6:44
  • I understand the one-to-many nullable relationship but what happens when an entry has no seed storage to choose from? The problem statement is not properly articulated so it's hard to design – tohster Mar 3 '15 at 6:46
  • there's a third tab there.. "without" tab. sorry i didn't mention it. but basically.. the user can't do anything but to contact the data managers. (this is basically rare.. and is considered a data error, a feature is there just to catch it).. the third tab will only display the entry information and a notification. nothing more. – muffin Mar 3 '15 at 6:50
  • 1
    I think the reason this question is not attracting answers is: the UI is incredibly dense and complicated to parse. The interactions your describing are also hard to relate given that your input panels are dense tables. I would suggest maybe trying again with reduced wireframes (eg remove columns that are unnecessary for the interaction). Asking readers to parse a giant wall of text and then open up very dense screenshots may be just too much for folks volunteering time. – tohster Mar 5 '15 at 5:11

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