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I have a page which displays some data stored in a database (furthermore defined as "dynamic data"). A modal-dialog also exists on the page which contains some other related dynamic data. The data is real-time and changes based on the actions of other users, but doesn't change real fast.

From a UX perspective, when should the dialog load its dynamic data?

  1. When the main page is initial loaded?
  2. When the dialog is first opened?
  3. Every time the dialog is opened?
  4. Something else?

Please elaborate on user expectations regarding whether the dialog should display data at the same state as the main page or whether the dialog should always display the latest data.

  • What kind of data does the modal dialog show ? Is it information like an alert or a notification (e.g. an overdue notification) – Mervin Johnsingh May 2 '16 at 18:09
  • @MervinJohnsingh The main page describes a construction project. The modal dialog shows a list of documents and text narrative attached to it. – user1032531 May 3 '16 at 0:01
  • @all While I gave specifics per Mervin's request, my hops for answers are generic. – user1032531 May 3 '16 at 3:47
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It really depends on how often the data updates (and therefore how many users are working concurred) and how long the user will stay on the page.

If the user logs in once per day to see, if there are new documents, the dialog showing the list of documents can be "updated" on login.

If the platform is rather agile, i.e. there is lots of cooperative work on the same documents the data should be update immediately.

Perhaps a way between is the best: update on login and give the possibility to update the list.

Or indicate on the main page that there are unseen changes and highlight them on the dialog.

Also consider to not display the data within an dialog but on the main page depending on how crucial the data is for the whole purpose of the page. So if the documents are one of the main parts of the construction project they shouldn't be within a dialog.

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