1

Scenario: User selecting the existing data to create new subset

User Profile: Advanced User, user knows very well what to choose

Which approach is better and why?

  1. Displaying existing data along with the simple search.
  2. No data will be displayed but a simple search.

Updated Question:

Scenario: User can select from the existing records and add them to a new bundle to export it

Type of Data: Data related to the specifications of the parts in a product

User Profile: Advanced User, user knows very well what to choose

Which approach is better and why?

Displaying existing data along with the simple & advance (user can enter specific criteria) based search. No data will be displayed but a simple & advanced (user can enter specific criteria) based search.

enter image description here

  • I'm not sure I understand the scenario... what kind of data is it, and what do your search for with the "simple search"? In what way is the current data related to the new subset? – Josef Engelfrost Mar 17 '15 at 8:09
  • Thanks Josef Engelfrost. Please find the updated question. – Siva Kiran Mar 17 '15 at 9:06
  • 3
    Why withhold information if you have screen real estate? Advanced user can just ignore it if they want. – paparazzo Mar 17 '15 at 12:00
  • @SivaKiran Right now it's unclear what you're asking exactly. When asking questions about interface options, a picture is worth a thousand words. So rather show some mockups of what you're referring to than try to describe them. In the mean time I'm putting the question on hold as unclear, but if you make it clear, it can then be reopened. – JohnGB Mar 17 '15 at 17:27
  • JohnGB please find the screenshot uploaded – Siva Kiran Mar 19 '15 at 11:37
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There are multiple ways you can approach this problem.

Keyword Search / Advance search

This would be very helpful when you have huge data and there are numerous fields user can potentially search on. Like having a advance search feature on mail archives, here is how Outlook would do it.

Pros

  • Granular control over what data to be displayed.
  • Can be enriched with options to save the complex filters, create sub-queries etc.
  • Can handle huge data.

Cons

  • User needs to know before hand the term to be searched.
  • Multi step flow.
  • Favors recall vs recognition.

enter image description here

Grid with data

This is most suited when you have a small selection. It is bigger than something which can be displayed in select box. It can probably display multi-column data. Here user can quickly scroll in small data set select one or many and perform action.

Pros

  • Kind of enriches a list view
  • Provides more data for user, favors recognition and not recall.

Cons

  • Suitable for relatively small data set.
  • takes significant real estate, if in pop-up hides content, which disconnects user from flow

enter image description here

Grid data with filter

Please note that I am using the term filter here. Search is generally done when you know what data you want and fire a query when you have no data in front of you. Filter helps you filter out available data set. This is a step after you have come to search results and have a rich data set, you can further filter based on some data you can see on the grid.

Pros

  • This can increase the capacity of the previous approach as user is not only dependent on scroll, but she can reduce the data to a manageable set with a quick filter
  • Other pros of previous approach

Cons

  • The real estate issues same as previous approach.

enter image description here

Probable solution for your problem

It would be B. You can further enhance it with a search if needed for your application. It is almost always good to favor recognition against recall. So if you have real estate, it is always beneficial to the user if you provide more information. You can also think about column level filters, instead of a generic text box. I am not invalidating having a generic text box. It is also a good thing to provide a sweeping filter capabilities like many contact management applications search across all the attributes of a contact, but column level filters offer more granular control.

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