I am currently working on Web App to coordinate Frequencies of Microphones.

I am not sure how to present the input of the Frequency. Basically a Frequency can be set in a range (eg. 400MhZ - 800 Mhz) and occupies a Bandwidth (eg Bandwidth is 5 and the chosen Frequency is 500, the range from 495 - 505 is occupied). The Frequency of some Mics, can be set up to a thousandth of 1 Mhz so the total Range of Frequencies could be quite big (eg. the 400-800 Mhz Range can fit up to 400 mics).

The User must know, what Frequencies are available and what are occupied. He then can enter any Frequency he wants (even occupied ones). There is also an algorithm that proposes possible frequencies in an free sub range.

I was thinking, of some kind of zoom-able timeline like slider (please correct me if there is an actual term for that). Where the ranges are colored based on their status. Next to it i display the list of proposed Frequencies for the currently visible part of the slider (BTW how to display the proposed values).

Since i haven't done anything similar before i have no idea if that's the right way to go or if maybe something different would be more handy. The Application is internal business app, so the usability is more important than the design. It also should work on small devices.

  • Are the frequencies "worth the same", or are some frequencies preferable? Is the bandwidth something you can tune or is it fixed for a given mic? – NiklasJ Jan 26 '16 at 14:59
  • Hey, Basically the frequencies are worth the same. Anyway There are prefered values to fit a maximum number of devices in the spectrum. The Bandwith of a microphone is normally not tuneable, but the frequency it uses is. – TheJoeIaut Jan 27 '16 at 10:34

I see four possible ideas:

Unordered list

Since the frequencies really have no internal ordering of value to the user, and the only thing that matters is whether or not they will collide, I would suggest the following basic format:


download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

While not so sexy, that would fulfill the real demands. Naturally, the list would have to be suggested from a system that tries to guess the best frequencies. This would be my primary suggestion. If the relative physical frequencies bear no value, don't show them in a relative way.

Color coded/histogram slots

Given a bandwidth, divide the frequency range into intervals of that range. Color code each interval (Either binary, say black for free, white for occupied, or shades of gray for how occupied it is. If color blindness isn't an issue, use other colors as well), or use a histogram.

Color coded/histogram overlap spectrum

The same as above, but use the smallest possible adjustment for a mic instead of bandwidth size. Calculate the overlap for any given frequency choice given the bandwidth, and use that as the value for color/histogram.

Color coded/histogram simple spectrum

The same as above, but ignore the bandwidth and show the amount of collision.

How to navigate for the graphical choices

This is a separate question. Two choices:

  1. I would choose a zoom level that would make sense, and then use either of the above methods, and put that in a horizontal scrollable view. Then add a minimap above to show where in the frequency range the user is.
  2. Or, I would split the large interval up in several rows (say 50 or 100MHz each) and just use the same graphical representation in all of them. (there are issues for selecting anything near each edge with that method.)

The human ear can hear frequencies ranging from 20 Hz up to 20 kHz according to the Wikipedia article Hearing range. Having different range input than what can be heard by the human ear looks a bit too much.

Following an ordinary equalizer where you can set the intensity of each range looks like a good place to start.

enter image description here

Source: wiley.com

If I understand the question correct, there can only be one input frequency at a time and by microphone. If that assumption is true the this GUI element might do the trick?


download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

  • Hey, Thanks for your input, but i am not talking about frequencies in the hearing range. We need to coordinate on what frequencies the data of each microphone is transmitted and that is typically the range between 400MhZ - 800 Mhz. – TheJoeIaut Jan 4 '16 at 9:04

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